Troom, market fall short as Maggie’s replacement

Photo of Troom coffee counter
Leo Bernstein Newman / The Mossy Log

We need to be real. The dining choices this year are worse than last year. Any discussion of dining on this campus has to begin with mourning Maggie’s. For those who entered Lewis & Clark this year, Maggie’s was a coffee shop/corner store situated in the space the Campus Living office currently occupies. It offered a variety of delicious coffee and tea drinks, and also had a corner store element, so one could get the whole variety of sweet and salty snacks. Perhaps most importantly, one could use a meal swipe at Maggie’s. In exchange for a meal swipe, you got a sandwich, a drink and fruit or chips. 

This meal equivalency program ran until 9 p.m. on weeknights, meaning that it was a viable dinner alternative for students who eat after Fields Dining Hall closes, were unsatisfied with Bon options that day or were in a rush. The Maggie’s meal swipe option also decreased the number of students eating at the Bon, which benefits habitual Bon-ers.

I used the meal equivalency for the first time my freshman year when, in a panic, I realized I had missed dinner at the Bon while auditioning for Once Upon a Weekend, which is a terrible reason to miss dinner. I did not keep much food in my room, and was panicking and hangry until I remembered that I could get a Maggie’s sandwich.  

When Maggie’s closed down, the understanding was that the newly remodeled Trail Room, in conjunction with the new “Templeton Market,” would fill the niche Maggie’s had previously occupied. But for all its virtues, the Troom does not do meal equivalencies after 10 p.m. This was a key part of Maggie’s appeal, and I feel the loss. Furthermore, the new Troom, although better than the old Troom, is no Maggie’s. The ambiance is less pleasant and the space is overall much louder. 

Onto the Templeton Market. Not to be cruel, but the new market just does not cut it. I mean, the chip options are pathetic! Seriously! What is “Farmstand Ranch”? The space dedicated to the Templeton Market is very small, which I am sympathetic to — you just could not fit any more freezers in there. 

Still, I wonder if there would be a way to improve the selection of goods at the market. Given that the root of the issue is how small it is, moving the market to a bigger space could help. I have heard whispers of a proposal to knock down the wall between the former Queer Student Union room and the existing market space, which would about double the space in the Market, thereby allowing a larger selection of products. For those of us who are not coffee drinkers, the market was one of the few practical places to use flex points and I am feeling the loss.

The market also has limited hours. My friends and I spent many an 11:30 p.m. study break meandering over to Maggie’s (conveniently located on residential campus) and walking laps around the chip table, trying to decide if we were hungry for barbecue-flavored chips or gluten-free pretzels. With the market, which closes at 8 p.m., this is impossible. Further, the market is so tiny — walking laps around that table would be irritating, and would not provide the study break we want.

Lastly, and so honestly, I miss the Chickpea of the Sea, which was an exquisite vegan sandwich consisting of mashed chickpeas and lettuce on a large piece of bread. It was dependable and delicious, and nothing would make me happier than purchasing it to eat. The charming Maggie’s baristas would even offer to heat the sandwich up in the panini press – the results were delicious. But, since the demise of Maggie’s (Chickpea of the Sea’s historic home) I have not seen it around campus.

So, what can be done? Why is this, and how can we change it? My best suggestion is to tell those with authority, like Bon Appétit, how much we value what Maggie’s provided. We want meal swipes from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., and we want a market that sells more than one kind of chip.

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