If you’re like me, you might not have been lucky enough to have discovered any of these hidden gems early on in your UMass career. The seven hidden gems I’m talking about are the student-run businesses on campus. They’re awesome because they are all non-profit cooperative businesses that strive to provide the best quality services to UMass students at the lowest prices possible.
Location: Student Union
If you’re looking for healthy snacks or an on-the-go breakfast in the morning, People’s Market is a great place to go! Conveniently located in the center of campus, People’s Market aims to provide products that cannot be found in other markets or cafes around campus. The adorable little shop is packed full of yummy treats that are all local and all-natural. Oh and I can’t forget to mention that there are bagels…lots of bagels. And coffee. Laura Pinkerton, a co-manager at People’s market explains that “It’s really inexpensive compared to other parts of campus… I know my friends who don’t have a meal plan can grab a quick meal here. It’s like $2 for a bagel and spread.”
Location: Sylvan Residential Area
Sylvan is a bit removed from the rest of the UMass Campus. The Sylvan Snack Bar aims to provide Sylvan Residents with a place to dine and socialize (or students can take advantage of their free delivery). As with all of the student-run businesses, the prices are low and the quality is high. The snack bar tries to offer menu items that can’t be found in the dining halls, so it’s definitely worth the trip. Some of these unique items include a wide variety of outrageous Quesadilla concoctions (the green monster, and the sexi-mexi dilla just to name a few), French bread and bagel pizzas, frappes, and brownie sundaes. The best part? They accept YCMPs!
Location: Second floor of the Student Union
W.E.B. DuBois is great if you need to print out a bus ticket, or short assignments, but sometimes only a professional print shop can do the job right. Campus Design and Copy prints everything from term papers, to resumes, to the flyers and table tents that you see around campus. Standard black and white prints are competitively priced at 7 cents each (that’s 3 cents cheaper than the library).
Damien Cranshaw, a co-manager at Campus Design and Copy explains that “We’re a good resource for people when they need to print out larger things. It’s a lot more convenient than trying to print something on your own personal printer.” Cranshaw also suggests that students stop by before career fairs or interviews. Having your resume printed on high-quality paper is a nice touch noted by employers.
Location: Central Residential Area
The Greeno Sub Shop is a great little shop hidden in Greenough within the Central Residential Area. They offer an impressive array of subs, wraps, pizzas, Quesadillas, salads, Paninis, drinks, desserts and more. Phew! In addition to providing for individual students, they even cater! And much to every UMass student’s delight, they accept YCMPs. What more can you ask for?
Location: The Student Union
The Bike Coop offers a variety of services to students who keep bikes with them at school. They mainly do repairs but if you need parts they can order them for a discounted price and they also sell some retail items such as bike locks. Their services are completely professional so they always do a great job.
Andrew McNulty, a co-manager at the Bike Coop explains that, “Our labor prices are like a quarter of anywhere else in Massachusetts. Most tune-ups are anywhere from $80-$150 and we do them for $45.” He adds, “Also, our locks are like 300% cheaper than the ones in the Campus Center.” Even if you don’t need any repairs done it’s a pretty cool shop, and the employees invite anyone to stop by and just hang out!
Location: Student Union
Located adjacent to People’s Market, EarthFoods Café is a great spot if you’re looking for in-expensive, healthy food on campus. While a salad at the Procrastination Station will cost about $7.25, you can get a full salad at EarthFoods for $3.00. They serve ovo-lacto vegetarian food, which means that they serve dairy products and eggs but no meat. The menu items change daily so you’ll never get bored.
Location: Field Lounge Orchard Hill
Sweets & More is a great hangout spot if you are craving something sweet. But don’t be deceived by their name. They offer all sorts of goods which include sweets, late night snacks, and breakfast food (breakfast for dinner? Yes please.) They also offer catering services on campus to students, RSOs and any other organizations. Brian, a co-manager at Sweets & More says, “We like to think of ourselves as a stress-free zone for busy UMass students to come to, get a milkshake, maybe play some Jenga, and unwind.”