Is the University’s student population turning over a fresh leaf and embarking on a new wave of healthiness? According to Gary Kriksciun, the dedicated manager of Weshop, this seems to be the case. On Monday Sept. 3rd, Weshop, the popular campus store boasting organic produce, an array of breakfast cereals, and a multitude of specialty items, opened its doors to a hoard of hungry students. But this year, shoppers may have noticed a change in their inventory: Weshop’s beloved candy section have been removed.
For years students have perused the aisles of the grocery store while casually snacking on stolen penny candy. Desperate for a sugar rush in the depths of finals week, they filled bags full of sour gummy worms or Reese’s or Swedish Fish. Weshop attendant Wendy Norton has worked in the store for twenty years and says that the well-loved candy section of the store has been around longer than she has.
Kirksciun explained that the candy section of the store used to be extremely popular, particularly during finals week.
“Years ago the candy bin was [really popular], we used to have to fill it constantly,” he said. “We used to have to keep cases of extra candy in the back.”
Despite its historical popularity, the candy section of Weshop has began to transform. What once was a frenzied sugar haven has become a beautiful exhibit, remaining virtually untouched.
Kirksciun postulates that recent health trends have had a profound influence on the decreasing popular demand for candy.
“I think it just has to do with people changing the way they eat, you know candy isn’t as big of a thing any more,” he noted. “Towards the end of last semester, the candy guy was coming like once a week, once a month. I mean…most of the candy that was being eaten was just being eaten by people…eating it.”
This year marks an era of fresh new food fads that are ultimately making students happier and stronger. Students are substituting yogurt for pudding, granola for breakfast cereals, and coconut water or Yerba Mate tea for soda. Of course healthy eating is great; it can be the motivator for an early morning class, or a long session at the gym. While some be be upset that this new wave of healthy living has made the sweet Weshop tradition of snacking on candy and shopping obsolete, it maybe be a good thing that students are pushing in the direction of a balanced college lifestyle and smooth transition into a life of self care.
Weshop, Kirsciun explained, is catered to students and their needs. New health trends manifest themselves in changing food demands, and simply put, Kirsciun wants Weshop to be the best it can be.
“We just thought we could bring something better, if people weren’t utilizing the candy,” he said. “The space is so small and we want to make the best of it for everyone. And it just didn’t seem like the best thing anymore.”
Many students struggle with the newfound responsibility of making healthy food choices—it’s hard to avoid impulsively buying and eating snacks. Perhaps this historic change in Weshop’s inventory, a change that will drastically alter the Weshop experience, is a blessing in disguise. University students might not be living their best and healthiest lives in college, but Weshop is lending a helping hand in making this transition into smart eating a little easier.
“[Twenty years ago], we used to rent videos, like VHS videos. And sell cigarettes. And lighters!” Norton remembered. “So times are changing.”
And maybe change isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Calia Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.