When students return from Thanksgiving Break, they will find a new source of a currently limited good: pizza. While the choices of recipes, crusts, sauces and cheeses are still in development, the Village Market will begin selling pizza slices and pies Nov. 28, the Monday after students return from break. It will also begin selling acai bowls the same day.
In August, the Market’s ownership transitioned to a Gambier couple, Betsy and Nick Jones. They have implemented a number of changes so far, such as expanded hours and hiring student workers, with much success. For example, each Tuesday night they sell walking tacos for $6.50-$7.50, and on Nov. 8, they sold almost 100, according to Betsy Jones.
The Market is working to find the best pizzas to make and sell by using top-quality ingredients and testing different crusts, sauces and cheese. Their staff got a test run of their pizza cooking at rugby formal last Saturday night. They provided 10 pizzas with three types of crust — cauliflower, thin and pan. According to Betsy, students later said their favorite was pan, and the cauliflower crust was good, considering that it was cauliflower.
With only two restaurants on campus after Chilito’s closed, plus the high cost of food delivery from Mount Vernon, the Kenyon community has been seeking another source of food in town to best meet community members’ needs. Lara Caligor ’24, a student employee at the Market, said that what makes the Market unique is that the owners are very intentional in their efforts to meet the needs and wants of the community. Jack Wessels ’24, another student employee, summarized the situation well: “I’m excited for the student body just in the fact that Kenyon has a demand for good quality food on campus, and for a lot of students, accessing Domino’s or accessing Mount Vernon, it’s hard. So to be able to have a local option supporting a local business, but also pizza, which, at least in my opinion, is better than Domino’s, is something that’s really just great for the student body.”
The owners’ efforts to best meet the demands of the community can be seen further in their decision to begin serving acai bowls. “There’s been some request for some healthier things, and we’re trying to bring that to the market,” Betsy Jones said.
The Joneses are excited for their addition of pizza to give them the opportunity to add a personal stamp to the Market, such as by naming sweet and spicy sauces after their two kids, Brecken and Palmer. “The Village Market’s been around since 1947, so there’s a lot of things we couldn’t change because it’s nostalgic, so this is kind of our way of putting our own little touch on it,” Nick Jones said. Betsy Jones added, “This is the first time the Market has made pizza, so this is something we could be creating years and years and years and years to come, and we want the Brecken and the Palmer to hopefully stick around.”