New Norris convenience store offers ‘upscale’ goodies to NU

Seth Freedland

A new convenience store in Norris University Center serves up nearly everything a student could need, but it still lacks one thing — a name.

Norris Director Bill Johnston and other administrators opened the store within Willie’s Food Court on Monday but still are searching for a fitting moniker.

Johnston said the new store, which carries items such as potato chips, sodas and toiletries, gives Norris flexibility and makes the food court “upscale.”

Maria Oleda, who worked the cash register from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on opening day, said the most popular purchases ranged from candies and yogurt to hummus and frozen dinners. She said some students seemed delighted to see a sundries rack with Pepto-Bismol and Advil.

Kevin Salimian pumped his fist in joy upon seeing boxes of table water crackers.

“I’ll probably waste all my points here instead of walking to Osco (Drug),” said Salimian, a Weinberg freshman.

Johnston said he hopes students take advantage of the store’s prices, which he said are 5 percent lower than any competition.

To make room for the store, the dish-washing station was moved behind the scenes, “where it belongs,” Johnston said. He added that Norris’ recent move to disposable plates and utensils allows a busy washing team to have to clean only the trays.

Johnston had six more recycling stations installed to offset any possible environmental damage caused by the switch to paper goods.

Construction on the store likely will end Friday, Johnston said, but he said the process of augmenting food service is ongoing.

“We’ll play with what we provide for a while,” Johnston said. “We’ll see what people are looking for.”

As far as that elusive name is concerned, Johnston said no decision has been made. He’s heard many ideas — among them “Cat Food” and “Kitty Litter.”

For now, Johnston said, his staff simply calls the convenience store the C-Store.

— Seth Freedland