Jim Pearce, AVI Fresh’s on-campus resident director, says the company is working to update OWU’s dining venues, including The Marketplace, and looks forward to the start of fall semester. (Photo by Reilly Wright ’20)

AVI Fresh

Ohio Wesleyan’s New Dining Partner Serves Up Small-Batch, Locally Sourced, Fresh Food 24/7

By Reilly Wright ’20

Hungry students, meet anytime dining.

Ohio Wesleyan University’s new food provider – Warren, Ohio-based AVI Fresh – is ready to serve you 24 hours a day with small-batch, locally sourced, fresh food.

Jim Pearce, AVI Fresh’s on-campus resident director, says he and his team are pleased to bring AVI’s delicious food and innovative ideas to Ohio Wesleyan.

“AVI brings a unique program created specifically for the needs of OWU students – an unlimited card swipe access program,” Pearce says. “This eliminates any previous meal plan insecurities. OWU students will always have a place to eat on-campus, regardless of time of day. We believe students will really enjoy our wholesome, real ingredients and our unwavering commitment to fresh.”

When students eat in either Smith Dining Hall or Ham-Wil’s The Marketplace, Pearce says, they no longer will be charged points. All OWU meal plans include unlimited daily meals at both of these venues, with Smith Dining open 24/7. (A no-points lunch option also will be available weekdays in the Schimmel/Conrades Science Center Café.)

AVI’s commitment to “fresh” extends beyond the food and includes the dining facilities themselves, Pearce says. Summertime construction inside Smith Dining and The Marketplace has created room for new food concepts and updated the look of each location.

But not everything has changed, he says. Students will see familiar faces in the dining areas, with many members of OWU’s previous food provider joining the AVI team.

And campus traditions such as midnight breakfast are sticking around too, he says, with OWU faculty and staff continuing to serve a late-night breakfast to hungry students during fall and spring finals. Green meal boxes will remain, and the “T-Store” will continue to offer sundries and snacks for sale from its convenient Thomson Hall location.

But, Pearce says, AVI Fresh also is excited to develop new traditions and create more options for student employment on campus.

“We eagerly welcome any students interested in working for AVI Fresh,” he says. “Any interested students should apply through our website at AVIServes.com/OWU or apply in-person at our offices in Bishop Café & Grille.”

Here’s a quick overview of each OWU dining venue:

  • The Marketplace, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday
    • Soup-and-salad bar
    • Build-to-order deli station
    • Sushi bar, with several varieties each day
    • Horizons, build-your-own Mexican station
    • Americana, Grille, and Trattoria (Italian) stations
    • Handmade doughnut station
    • Beverage station with Starbucks CTMC espresso machine
  • Smith Dining Hall, open 24/7
    • Soup-and-salad bar
    • Clarity, gluten-sensitive, vegetarian, and vegan options made upon request
    • Fusion, Mongolian-style grill with chef-inspired creations
    • Grille, Americana, Healthy Bishop, and Hearthstone Oven stations
    • Sweets Treats station with homemade gelato, smoothies, and desserts
    • Beverage station with Starbucks CTMC espresso machine
  • Merrick Café, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday
    1. Fresh-to-go portable selections for those in a hurry
    2. Freshly made pastries
    3. Starbucks coffee and beverages
  • Science Center Café, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
    • Fresh-to-go portable selections
    • Crimson Cup hot and iced coffee
  • Thomson Hall “T-Store”, Noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
    • Sundries and snacks
    • New fresh-food options
  • Bishop Café and Grille (opening later this semester)
    • Made-to-order burgers and melts
    • Crimson Cup full-service espresso bar (Temporarily located in the former atrium-level bakery; open 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

For additional information, email avifresh@owu.edu or visit www.AVIServes.com/OWU.