PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:
WINNER: YALE UNIVERSITY
THE BIG IDEA: In an effort to address the financial challenges resulting from declines in its endowment at the beginning of 2009, Yale University Dining Services looked to a variety of nontraditional revenue streams. One was to convert a 12' × 15' manager's office space into a c-store/farmer's market. The result: Uncommon.
Designed as a grab-and-go residential dining alternative for students needing a healthy meal on the run (which can be purchased using their residential dining meal plan), Uncommon is located in the lobby area of the Freshman Commons and exclusively stocks natural, organic and local products.
The associated farmers market is an extension of the retail operation and functions through the fall with weekly local produce and Connecticut grown products.
Photos: John Lawn
Though open only three hours a day, Uncommon grosses $1,200 in average daily sales, serving some 700 customers a week. It only takes one FTE to run. Not bad for a $60,000 investment.