Food for thought

William Lou
January 26, 2015
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

All of the candidates in this year’s MSU Presidential elections addresses food service in their platforms. For some, it is as simple as adding late night wraps from TwelvEighty or adding more healthy food options.

For Tristan Paul, the dream is much bigger.

One of Paul’s most ambitious goals is opening a grocery store on campus. He believes that the grocery store is a service that students need and would provide affordable, convenient food for students.

This isn’t the only time the MSU has tried to bring in a campus grocery store. In 2012, when a space that once held Travel Cuts came up for bid in the student centre, a grocery store was the number one voted option by students in a survey by the MSU.

The student centre Board of Management looked into putting in a Grocery Checkout Fresh Market, which has been successful at both Western and Queens University. The board found that grocery store of this type would take up the space of both Travel Cuts and the Pharmacy. In the end, an optometrist office claimed the space.

Paul acknowledges in his platform that bringing a grocery store to campus is a difficult task that will take longer than one year.

In the short term, Paul plans to have Mac Farmstand set up monthly stands in the MUSC atrium, and have a grocery delivery service created for students living in residence.

It is unclear whether a grocery delivery service would be beneficial to students in residence. With 10 of the 12 residence buildings being the traditional dorm style, it would be difficult for students to make their own meals. In addition, McMaster has already partnered with Fortinos to bring a shuttle bus to Mary Keyes each Wednesday.

While the temporary delivery service and farmstand expansion are in process, Paul will work with university administration and a third-party vendor to bring in the grocery store.

So far, Paul’s attempt to again lobby for a campus grocery store has been met with positivity from the administration.

“I reached out to different university administration like Deidre Henne, the CFO of McMaster and Chris Roberts, the Director of Hospitality,” said Paul. “They’re very open to the idea of working with us to find a space for a grocery store onto campus.”

Although these conversations have begun, there are still several large problems that will prevent the grocery store dream from becoming a reality. Finding a space large enough for a grocery store will be very difficult, especially with such harsh competition for space from MSU clubs and services.

However, Paul remains confident that he can bring a grocery store to campus.

“This wouldn’t be something that I would throw into my platform if I didn’t think it was feasible,” said Paul. “If these other schools worked with their university administration and third party vendors to bring in grocery stores, then why can’t we?”


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