SGA’s Tastes of the Town invites local businesses

SGA recently organized Tastes of the Town as part of the initiative to connect Colby students with the greater Waterville community. Local businesses such as Selah Tea, Downtown Smoothie and Grammy Kay’s have come to campus in recent weeks to showcase their food in Bobby Silberman in the hopes of bringing students out of the Colby bubble.

selah tea

Selah Tea Cafe (Courtesy of Selah Tea)

Tastes of the Town fits in with President David Greene’s goal to bring more Colby students to Waterville. Connor Clancy ’15, a member of the SGA Executive Board, said “After being around David Greene a lot and hearing all of his plans to continually look for ways to connect Colby to Waterville, we came up with the idea to connect businesses to one of their customer demographics: Colby students.” The new Colby Shuttle Service, along with the Jitney, will help solve transportation issues for those without cars.

The initiative came up in an informal SGA meeting where they discussed new projects such as the revitalization of the Mary Low Coffee House and the introduction of the Colby Café. These projects will take off next year, though Tastes of the Town will need SGA funding in order to continue.

tastes of the town

A banner advertising Tastes of the Town in Pulver Pavilion

So far, SGA has been running the program without funding, but there are many costs associated with bringing these businesses on campus. Next year, SGA will likely look to clubs on campus to help run the program. Ideally, the it will run every other week in the fall and spring semesters so that there will be sufficient funds to bring as many businesses to Colby as possible.

Colby students currently make up around 30-35 percent of revenues for certain local businesses, but there is more to be done to increase awareness on campus of all these opportunities in Waterville. The program is meant to incentivize students to spend more time engaging with the local Waterville community while bringing business to local owners.

SGA is confident in the program’s ability to succeed due to the number of people who have been coming to the events. 218 students attended the first installment with Selah Tea while 342 students attended the week with Downtown Smoothie. A week later, Grammy Kay’s sold out early as 215 students showed up in only 1.5 hours. Tastes of the Town finished on Friday, May 8 with The End Zone.

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