Take a look at Northwestern’s new global-inspired eatery

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Located steps from Lake Michigan in Evanston, Ill., the Global Hub at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business is meant to serve as a collaborative space for the school’s diverse community. The building is also home to The Marketplace, a 10,000-square-foot eatery that seats 320 and provides students from all ethnic backgrounds access to fresh, local and sustainable meals. Here’s an inside look at the new space, which opened in March. 

Photos credit: Mike Crews

Grounded in student feedback

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Three years prior to starting construction, Northwestern’s dining services began to meet with committees comprised of students, staff and faculty to discuss what the foodservice program in the new building should look like. The team received requests for fresh, high-quality and sustainable dishes as well as vegan and vegetarian options, and centered its offerings around that feedback. 

Scott Hastings, general manager of Aramark operations at Kellogg, says feedback meetings take place to this day. “As we continue to find ways to use the building and try and be creative with the menus, we’re still meeting with students on a regular basis to get real-time feedback on what we’re doing,” he notes.

Photo credit: Bob Coscarelli

A bevy of offerings …

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The Marketplace’s multiple food stations offer comfort foods, international fare, and a grill and deli with vegetarian and vegan dishes. Central to the space is a brick pizza oven that Hastings describes as a “cornerstone” of the eatery.

Taking a page from fast-casual chains, students can choose between build-your-own pizzas or pre-made express ones. Hastings says that it takes around three minutes to make an individual pizza from start to finish, and on average, the oven cranks out around 95 pizzas per day.

Photo credit: Mike Crews

… With an international bent

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As its name implies, the Global Hub is for members of the Kellogg community from all parts of the world, a theme that’s also reflected in its foodservice. “In order to meet all the needs and requirements of the student body that come from all around the world, [Kellogg] needs to have different offerings,” says Director of Facilities Dan McCrudden.

Avoiding a fixed menu, the dishes at the World Market station change constantly and feature varying types of global cuisine. “One day it could be stir-fry, one day it could be tostadas or burritos, and the next it could be kung pao,” Hastings says. “We really wanted to create a destination where we could highlight global cuisine and try to emulate as many different food styles as possible.”

Photo credit: Mike Crews

A home for fresh produce

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To address the request for fresh produce, a permanent salad bar with an assortment of vegetables as well as tofu and various proteins is a main feature. The back of house was designed to include enough storage space and refrigeration to keep up with the frequent deliveries of fresh produce. With the additions, Hastings says staff have plenty of room to complete daily prep tasks such as chopping fresh lettuce.

Photo credit: Mike Crews

From breakfast to happy hour

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Open from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, The Marketplace is primed for providing all-day eats. The space doesn’t close between mealtimes, and the stations were designed to transition seamlessly between dayparts. In the morning, the grill and deli station serves up breakfast sandwiches, while the salad bar transforms into a customizable yogurt and granola bar.

On Fridays, The Marketplace closes at 4:00 p.m., when it becomes an event space for students. Hastings says that student clubs usually book the space for happy hours or other social gatherings. 

Photo credit: Bob Coscarelli

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