On a Wednesday at 11:30 a.m, the Galley stills.
Last year, like clockwork, the doors of the Wardroom were restless as a constant rush of first-year students scrambled for their caffeine fix.
“I definitely miss the FYP rush,” says Alex Retzer, a staff member at the Galley. That daily 10-minute break used to be the dread of the staff but now it leaves them nostalgic.
There was no time lost when Nova Scotia reopened restaurants under stricter conditions and protocols. Thanks to a provincial grant awarded to small businesses, the Galley can now offer online ordering with new items featured on their website.
This semester has been geared toward accommodating those who live at home. Although students are no longer going to campus for class, they can now go there to pick up groceries.
Enter the food boxes.
Thanks to their partnership with DSU Farmers Market, the Galley is able to distribute containers of locally farmed produce boxes.
Customers can choose between a $12 mini produce box or a $20 regular produce box. They also have the option of adding on Galley favourites to their box for a small, additional price. The most popular item? The veggie samosas.
Em Grisdale, the general manager of the Galley, explains that the produce boxes were introduced with those off-campus in mind.
“It’s something that’s really useful now that everybody is cooking at home,” Grisdale says. “The reception has been really positive.”
Julia Clarke, a second-year King’s student, ordered a mini produce box and received a cornucopia of sweet potatoes, broccoli, and apples.
“It was nice because we got it right before Thanksgiving, so we were able to make our big meal with a lot of it,” says Clarke. She plans to order more boxes and try out their one pound coffee add-on.
Orders for the boxes can be placed up until Thursdays at 9 a.m. for pick up on the following Wednesday, between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The classic menu items such as veggie samosas, pakoras and kombucha, are also available for online order. However, all online orders require a $10 minimum purchase. The staff always appreciate those who come out to support them and invited everyone to pop in and say hi.
The Galley and Wardroom are also working toward their own long anticipated line of merch. The first drop is expected to feature tote bags and T-shirts.
“We’re putting a lot of thought and care into making sure that we’re sourcing things ethically and locally as much as we can,” Grisdale says, “while also keeping the price down for students.”
The KSU Hospitality Coordinator who overlooks both the Galley and the Wardroom, JM Nsengiyumva, explains that there are other factors prolonging the process. The Galley is also currently looking to commission a staff member to come up with a design for the T-shirts.
“Rather than just throwing a logo on a T-shirt […] a unique artistic design would probably be pretty great,” says Nsengiyumva.
He expects the release for somewhere between mid and late November.
There was a time when the commotion of cramped tables muffled staff voices announcing that food was ready. In the whirlwind of our east coast fall, the Wardroom’s floors should be wrecked. Now where leaves and muddy tracks used to adorn it, the cement is left unblemished.
According to Nsengiyumva, the reopening of the Wardy lounge area is still an uphill battle.
“The obstacle is determining the safest way to have this space used,” he says. “That requires a lot of changes in conversations from how this space traditionally functions.”
For now, the disco ball hanging above the Wardroom stands still in anticipation that one day soon a shower of neon light might warm the dance floor once again.
Retzer speculates that the university assumes students are not concerned with the reopening of the lounge area, since the library opening was unpopular. She begs to differ.
“You can’t eat in the library!”