For Uli Schwendener ’21, Sunday nights begin at 8 p.m. On Oct. 8, he pulled up on his bicycle to North Campus Apartment (NCA) 8C and climbed through the kitchen window, which is left open each week for easy access. Immediately, he was hit by the smell of breakfast: fried eggs and baked potatoes courtesy of August Corper ’21 and Willa Grace Moore ’19. A group of students sat on the couch at the far end of the room, chatting. One was cutting an avocado. This is where Sunday Night Nibbles, a weekly student-run food preparation and delivery service, do their work.
Schwendener delivers for the group. His first delivery of the night was to a neighboring NCA. He stowed the packaged meal in his backpack and rode off. The resident of the NCA had placed his order the previous night at 3 a.m. “He sets an alarm for himself once a week,” said Corper, “so he doesn’t forget.”
Sunday Night Nibbles began last semester as a one-off event hosted by the Delta Phi fraternity. “It was literally white rice with some pre-cooked chicken on it and a fried egg, and people ate it up,” said Corper, the founder of the service. “It was really easy to exceed students’ expectations.”
Corper said that the idea occurred to him after he spent last summer cooking for himself almost every day. After a conversation with Moore in Corper’s dorm room, the two decided to work together. “It’s just nice from a student perspective to buy food from other students,” said Moore. “There’s something really homey and comfortable about it, which I think is kind of the Kenyon way.”
After Corper and Moore formed Sunday Night Nibbles, they asked their friends to help them deliver food. “As far as jobs go, it’s fun,” said Schwendener. In the early weeks of the service, he delivered to the entire campus on his bike, but now that Nibbles has a delivery person with access to a car, he now only delivers as far south as the Morgans. Occasionally his shifts go past midnight. Sometimes biking in total darkness, he has had near collisions with everything from students to raccoons to Campus Security vehicles.
“We’re hot, man,” said Corper, scrolling through his Instagram messages. That night, Nibbles had received 20 more orders than they expected, and had to turn down 15 of them. Previously, they had held an Instagram poll to determine which recipe they would prepare that Sunday. By the poll’s end, 200 users had voted on it.
“I don’t see ourselves adding another kitchen and having new cooks,” said Moore. “I see us staying pretty small. It’s like we’re making food for a bunch of our friends.”
Unlike previous late-night food services such as Nite Bites, which was run out of Peirce Pub and closed in 2015, Sunday Night Nibbles’ services are not associated with the College. “I think in general Kenyon students respond well to other Kenyon students making things happen,” said Corper. “Regardless of how good our food is, people respect it. People respect that we’re hustling.”
Moore chimed in: “But it’s also pretty good.” Corper agreed.