By Nina Zimmerman
Hungry, tired students trapped in the library will no longer have to forage in basement vending machines for late-night snacks. Beginning Monday, Nov. 14, Kenyon’s own Entrepreneurship Club will open Nite Bites, a late-night food service located in Peirce Pub and operating from approximately 11:00 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Nite Bites President Sean Grant ’14 said he is incredibly excited about the grand opening.
“We’re going to have a DJ there and we’re going to have the Kenyon purple person there,” Grant said. “It’s going to be a blast. It’s going to be really fun.”
Nites Bites will sell a variety of items, ranging from hot drinks such as tea, coffee and hot chocolate to gummy bears, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts plus a line of signature sandwiches and smoothies.
“There was a group of three of us that sat down last week and were just going over different things that we could put into the sandwiches with the ingredients that we have, and then we just thought of things that kind of went with Kenyon, and maybe nicknames of people,” club vice president Autumn Anderson ’14 said. “It was basically just collaboration of creativity, pulling from things that we’re familiar with here at Kenyon. [For example,] we have the Gunderworld, which is a pretty hefty, crazy sandwich. It basically has everything that we have packed into one sandwich and panini-ed.”
In deciding prices, Anderson said the club tried to cater to the financial needs of their fellow students. Most of the items Nite Bites will sell range in price from $2.00 to $3.50.
“Obviously, as students, we understand that students are on a very tight budget, so we don’t want to inflate any of our prices, and we want to provide things for students to be as convenient and cheap as we can possibly make it while making somewhat of a profit,” Anderson said.
Located near most of the major late-night study meccas, Peirce Pub proved the best location to open shop.
“We just felt that the Pub was the perfect space for us,” Grant said. “There are five TVs in there, there’s a bar [and] it’s just a really nice environment. You can study in there. There are going to be football games. Different events can happen – there’s a stage, there’s a sound system. There’s so much you can do with the Peirce Pub and we’re very fortunate to have it.”
The new business helps fulfills some of the group’s principal goals, according to Anderson.
“Entrepreneurship doesn’t just involve money, it involves providing … a good or a service that isn’t already there but is in demand,” Anderson said. “And with Nite Bites … we saw late night food as being in high demand and wanted to provide that to the campus.”
Grant agreed, emphasizing the importance of providing a positive service to the student body and helping out the community in that sense.
“A lot of people are up late studying at night and we want to be there for them and provide food for them … so that they can keep studying,” Grant said.
The project was born in a brainstorming session, when members realized that there is a market for those who will not venture to the Village Market.
“It was during one of our meetings that we were having. We were just throwing around different ideas for potential business ventures,” Anderson said. “And one of the members just suggested, ‘Hey, there isn’t any late night food around campus [because] the Market and MiddleGround … close at midnight, and people are hungry past that point. So why don’t we open up a food business?’ And it kind of just went from there.”
Last semester, the Entrepreneurship Club won third place in an Innovation Greenhouse business plan competition. They earned $3,000, the bulk of which will fund Nite Bites. Though it is still technically a club, Anderson and Grant said they hope to turn Nite Bites into a limited liability company (LLC) like the Last Call food cart sometime during the next school year. For now, the entrepreneurs will work with what they have and see where it goes.
“We’re just going to accumulate all of the money that we can from the food that we sell and maybe donate it to charity,” Grant said. “We’re entrepreneurs. We’re here to help people.”
Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.