The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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SCTV 11/22/23
November 27, 2023

Simpson sushi: Sodexo is rolling with it

Caleb Geer
After experimenting with various food choices, it was determined that Asian cuisine was the answer for Simpson’s food options.

Simpson College’s dining provider, Sodexo, has done several taste tests and other related experiments to find out how they could better serve campus out of the Kent dining outlet that once housed the smoothie venue, Red Mango. 

What Simpson’s Sodexo General Manager, Ben Nielsen, decided on will eventually be what he calls an “Asian fusion concept.” The venue, which was named with help from Simpson’s marketing office as ‘Sushi Storm’, currently only serves sushi rolls. “We’ll also be introducing full-size Asian salads and soups, and then in the Spring semester doing our cook-to-order concept behind it,” Nielsen said.

The decision to wait to fully expand the venue’s options, Nielson said, was to get a feel for what students would and would not eat. 

Other issues that have affected the new venue include getting the point-of-sale system working correctly to carry out the appropriate transactions and getting the necessary food supplies in.

What Nielsen wanted to emphasize was that Sushi Storm is not something he was contractually obligated to do. “I’d like people to understand that this was something we’re giving to students. It’s something I wanted to do this year, just as an extra option, but it’s not something I have to do,” he said.

Before the issues impairing operation had been fully resolved, the venue offered free sushi during a short trial run which they closed soon after until they were able to take meal plan payments. 

Sophomore Joe Degen was one of the students who gave the new Sodexo menu a try. “I was a little excited. I like sushi. I’m a big sushi guy,” he said.

Ultimately, Degen found that the sushi he received from Storm Sushi’s trial run was underwhelming from what he was expecting after he had been a part of a test run that took place in Pfeiffer Dining Hall last year. What Degen did specifically enjoy was the increase in options for food on campus. “I like sushi being involved,” he said.

While Degen was initially underwhelmed, others who have had the sushi since the official opening have found it to be a great choice for a meal.

Senior Madi Green even went as far as comparing the sushi to what is available at Hy-Vee. “It was really good…to me, it was better than the ones I get at Hy-Vee,” she said. 

What sold Green on Sodexo’s sushi over Hy-Vee’s was the convenience and value of what she received. “If you go to Hy-Vee for one [sushi] roll, it’s only like seven dollars, whereas here [Sushi Storm], you can get two rolls for a board [seven dollars]. That’s a lot cheaper, and I don’t have to drive to go get it.”

Nielsen said he had viewed initial reactions to the sushi as positive. However, there is something that really sets Sushi Storm apart that he believes will help draw more people. 

“It’s just something that you typically don’t see in our school size,” he said. Although the situation is a rarity, he said the concept fit the space well, and they had the equipment to make it happen.

Nielsen also alluded to more food variety and pop-up trials coming in the future. “We have boba coming, and freak shakes,” he said.  

Sushi Storm is set to be open Monday through Friday, weekly from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 


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Caleb Geer, Ad Manager & Website Editor

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