Courtesy of Drue Sokol

The Hillside Market is one of UR Dining’s most successful advancements in recent memory. While almost every Dining change that happened this semester was greeted with a swarm of heavily-publicized complaints, the 24-hour Hillside Market was well received as a necessary and impressive expansion of the cramped, sparsely stocked Corner Store. However, now that the proverbial honeymoon is over, it’s time to acknowledge where the market is most clearly in need of improvement: its lack of raw materials for cooking.

The Hillside Market seems acutely aware of what many college students consider dining necessities: lots of snack foods, lots of candy, lots of ready made or microwavable meals. Meanwhile, many of us would at least sometimes like to prepare something a little nicer than a microwaveable pasta dinner and don’t want to venture beyond campus for necessary ingredients. When the Hillside Market first opened, much was made about its expanded variety of fruits and vegetables. But why stop there? The selection of fruits and vegetables could definitely use further expansion, but there are a number of other important raw ingredients that are barely represented at the Hillside Market, if at all.

For example, if you look through the foods available in coolers, you’ll find a very limited selection of cheeses and meats. This doesn’t just limit the market’s appeal to certain tastes; it also limits students’ ability to use these items in a more elaborate meal. Similarly, only  two kinds of pasta are available. The store also barely stocks any varieties of spices, oils or nuts for baking that could be used to make those meals even better. The Hillside Market seems mostly interested in merely representing the basics of all food needs, without considering that many students are relying on it for much more.

To make room for all of these new items seems like an ambitious plan for a store in its infancy, but it’s certainly plausible: There’s a lot of space that still isn’t be used, or at least being put to good use. The Hillside Market should exist to be a truly accommodating store, not just a venue to triple the shelf space for chips.

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