So last week we opened the Hive Market, with limited customers to test our systems and get things started. I'm pleased to announce that things went pretty well, and we are going to try to open to the larger community but with limited hours. This blog entry is to introduce you to the new outlet and answer some of the questions that we heard during our trial opening.
What are the Hours of Operation? For now, it will be Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. These hours will change as we expand to the weekend, and see if there is demand for breakfast hours. Currently, 2 pm is the absolute latest we can operate as the glare from the windows makes the computer screen unusable. Hopefully we will get some window blinds soon as it gets pretty warm in there.
How does it work? So, there are a lot of different items offered from full entrées to sides, to drinks-- each has a price. You'll choose to buy things with a meal credit, with your house account or a combination of the two.
With Meal Credits: choose an entrée (there are usually five or six), and three other sides including vegetables, appetizers, desserts and drinks. These can be combined to equal a meal credit and your bill is zero. Note: Some items like candy, alcohol, honey, and certain foods are not available as a credit, but only at the retail price that is advertised. You can have these in addition to your meal plan or not. If you don't want to use a meal credit, and only want one or two things then the retail price might be best. It's up to you really. Some people might not want to use a meal credit for just a sandwich and chips, others might have a lot of meal credits to use up and would like to do it here.
Is anything hot? No. This outlet will provide chilled, easily re-heatable items. We don't currently have the ability to do hot food.
How do I reheat these items? There will be a flyer available that will have basic instructions. We will get more specific as we move forward.
Will there ever be a bigger selection? Yes, definitely. I expect the number of offerings to grow as we learn how to make this run smoothly. Know the Market will remain independent of the regular dining menu.
What about allergens? We are hoping to have a new label maker this week that we can label each item, and include common allergens as ingredients. Until then, simply ask the attendant.
Will the menu be listed on Touchtown? No. Maybe at some point we will do this, but for the time being, people will simply have to come down and see what is on the menu.
Can we call ahead? No. we simply don't have the staff or space to do orders in advance, please come down to the new market and pick out the items you want.
Will you provide bags? Yes, of course we have shopping bags. We do strongly encourage residents to bring their own to encourage sustainability and environmental kindness.
Will there be the same items as listed on the regular menu? No-- at some point there may be some overlapping items but for now most items will be unique to The Hive Market. This may mean that while we do have interesting locally-sourced sodas, kombuchas and lemonades, we might not have your specific brand of iced tea or diet soft drink. Again, maybe in the future this may change but let's walk before we run.
Is Takeout still available? Yes. The takeout menu still has not changed. This is simply an additional outlet with more choices for you.
Are the containers recyclable? For the most part yes. We are trying to use aluminum or paper for a lot of items. Some Items are plastic but listed as a "1" which makes it very recyclable. Other items are probably not. We are trying to come up with an effective program but making sure things are not only re-heatable, but also durable, attractive and see-through does limit our ability to be as earth-friendly as we would like. We are open to suggestions.
Can I microwave the aluminum containers? Yes. Yes you can. I tested it and they microwave just fine. Don't take this as freedom to simply start microwaving any old thing you have around the house but the aluminum containers we present food in for the Hive Market can be microwaved (we recommend taking the plastic lid off). This will be mentioned in the reheating instructions.
I hope this helps, please don't all show up at 10 am on Monday or it might be really crowded. And, mark your calendars for Tuesday's Sip & Savor!
Have a great week!