You sexy, sexy supermarket.
My Dearest Weshop,
You are the jewel of Middletown, the exemplar of goodness, the light of my life. You’re not like other campus supermarkets: You have personality. You’re so smart and funny! You mean so much to me.
We’ve shared so many moments together. Remember all those times I stopped by to buy an Arizona Iced Tea? And there was that one time I bought vanilla extract for like, 15 points. All for you.
I love you, Weshop.
I’ve given you so much. (Because I’m a nice guy!) But now I hope you’ll help me. Because if you want to take this obsessive, parasocial relationship to the next level, there’s just one thing I want from you…
College is the time in your life for shit food. You’re in a place where you can’t really cook for yourself, but you also don’t have anyone there to cook for you anymore. But just because you have to eat shit food doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the best shit food. And that, dear reader, is where I come in. For your sake, I have taken on the burden of trying all of Weshop’s microwavable mac and cheese cups to definitively determine which one is the best. I chose this specific combination of salt and carbs because it’s one of my favorite shit food options, and what is a more quintessential college food that microwave mac and cheese? (Yes, I know, RAMEN, but if I tried every ramen option at Weshop I would have a heart attack and die from all the sodium so I’m not doing that. Yet.) Each mac will cooked and tasted, then rated via the following criteria:
Ease of Preparation: How many steps are involved in cooking it, and how difficult is it? Could you make it while inebriated?
Mouthfeel: How is the pasta texture? Does the sauce have a good consistency?
Cheesiness: This one doesn’t need much explanation
Bang for yer Buck: Does it feel like you’re getting a full meal out of this cup? Is the Weshop price reasonable for what you get?
General Vibes: Just the feeling I’m getting from it, y’know?
In the end, only one will reign supreme. But who will it be? The answer lies under the cut.
Navigating through thousands of different product descriptions is a pain, but it’s ultimately worth it if you want to maximize what you get out of the campus grocery.
As of yesterday afternoon, all our WesCards are working again. That means that now, I can stroll into any campus dining establishment to use any number of the now 1,827 points I have. 1,827!!! What on earth am I going to do with all these points? Why do I have to pay for them every semester when I know that I’m definitely not going to be able to use all of them? (I am a small person and do not eat very much.) These are not questions that concern you.
What may concern you, though, is that you can use your points to order from the ~*~Weshop bulk catalog.~*~ Basically, if you want things that Weshop doesn’t normally sell in the storefront, like dried beans or 2-pound bags of rice, and if you want them in considerably larger quantities for considerably cheaper than it would be to buy the tiny packages once a week every time you run out, the bulk catalog has you covered.
It remained an elusive paper copy deep in the office annex of Weshop until last fall, when the kind people of Bon Appétit put it online for us to use. kg discovered in 2015 that she could order her diva cups through the bulk catalog. Some other gems include children’s multivitamins, something they’ve labeled only as “DRINK,NATRL STRSS RELIEF,” condoms, and brewers yeast for all you people who try to make your own alcohol.
The full catalog list is HERE, and the order form is HERE. Since the order form is view-only, a good way to fill it out is to copy it to a new spreadsheet in your drive doohickey and then fill in all the values there.
You may ask, “But how do I use it? How do I navigate this list of 24,000 different purchasable items??”
It’s not news to me that Weshop has a special-order catalog. Now that I’m in my senior year, I’ve had some time to hear stories of people ordering from the catalog to economize points by buying in bulk, or to buy brands that Weshop doesn’t stock in-store. I first heard about Weshop bulk ordering in 2015 from Wesleying-er kg, who not only knew the ins and outs of the process… but also found out how to bulk order DivaCups. From Weshop.
But back then, ordering from the catalog wasn’t especially convenient — or well-advertised. Those in the know could venture to the back of the store, where they could look at a catalog in the office and place orders. But, this meant you had to go out of your way just to see the catalog options, and you had to know it was there.
That’s why this year is an exciting time — for the first time in Weshop history, students can access the catalog and place orders online.
Before the semester began I took to the internet with 1 part funny joke and 1 part serious question.
If you’ve visited Weshop this year (everyone, right?), you’ve probably noticed some changes to the layout from last year. There’s more space, some tables in the middle, and new products, it seems. I talked to Weshop director Gary Kriksciun, who explained that the new layout is intended to open up the store–creating a better flow and providing a better shopping experience, one of Bon Appetit’s primary goals. The tables often offer sale items, and sometimes have a seasonal flair (like the Halloween table). However, if you notice new products, it’s because—according to Kriksciun—Weshop is “constantly adding new products.”
Of course, there’s the kicker: WHY IS WESHOP SO EXPENSIVE?
Josh Krugman ’13 writes in:Do you have lots of extra points?
Consider donating them to
MIDDLETOWN FOOD NOT BOMBS!
All day Monday.
Just tell the cashiers in Weshop how many points you want to donate and they’ll do it right along with your purchase!
Our points get erased at the end of the year so this is a good way not to waste them while supporting food justice and activism in Middletown.
The bulk dry goods that FNB buys every year with donated points form the staple of our meals throughout the year!
Also, the Food Not Bombs meal happens every Sunday at 1 p.m. on the sidewalk outside of the Buttonwood Tree, 604 Main St. in Middletown. Good food, good talk, and sometimes drumming!
Date: Today, April 28, 2014
Not too long ago, Sharon Wade – one of the Bon Appetit employees that we all know and love – agreed to meet me in Usdan for an interview. She greeted me with kind blue eyes and a genuine smile. I knew she had been here a very long time and I wanted to pick her brain about her experiences at Wesleyan. She had warned me in advance, the week before at work, about how she’s prone to going on and on and reassured me that I shouldn’t be afraid to cut her off if necessary. As we got into the flow of the interview, which was not very difficult with Sharon’s enthusiasm, I certainly knew what she meant, but by no means was I going to stop her. Sharon sat with me in Usdan for approximately an hour, during which she told me about what she’s learned during her time at Wesleyan, expressed both her loves and her qualms with campus issues, and shared some wonderful anecdotes about students. The following is a transcript of our conversation, edited for clarity.
How long have you been working at Wesleyan?
Probably… around 29 years. A long time – flown by, just like that. It has flown by!
Has it been at Weshop the whole time?
No, this is my second time at Weshop. Because we can move all around. We just have to bid on jobs, awarded by seniority, throughout the campus. We’ve all done probably most everything. I’ve been a cook. For overtime, I did tons of utility. That took me around the world… I’ve done register at the old campus center, I’ve done it [at Usdan], I’ve done at Weshop, so everybody has really moved around, which is a great part of the job because [you can say,] ‘you know what, I think I’ll do that.’ As long as you’re qualified and you’re the most senior person signing – and everybody signs – you get to the job.
Here’s your heads up! You only have a limited time to get storm preserves or a nice hot latte.
- Weshop will be open from 11 AM to 3 PM today.
- Pi Cafe will close at 2 PM today
- Usdan will close at 7 PM tonight and reopen tomorrow at 10 AM.
- Summerfields will be closed for dinner; Usdan will serve dinner 4 – 7 PM; Late night dining at Usdan is closed.
- Broad Street Books and Red & Black will close at 1:30 PM today, and reopen at noon tomorrow.
- WesWings is open from 11 AM- 2 PM and 5 PM – 8 PM
Library hours are also truncated:
Let the storm frenzy begin! Run for your life! May the odds be ever in your favor.
More storm info/facilities hours from Dean Mike Whaley:
Update: it’s open now.
In case you missed it, there’s a debate brewing in the comments section of a video by Jacky Coyne ’13 about the economic benefits of Weshop versus Price Chopper. Today, it looks like you won’t have a choice. Weshop is temporarily felled by a cash register malfunction, according to a few tipsters on Twitter (“twipsters”?):
We can pull through this. Price Chopper, as Coyne notes, is 23% cheaper—but if you don’t have a car, Neon or Marco’s Deli wins the convenience factor.
Update: Weshop is back open. Breathe.