Nestled beneath our long–beloved 1920 Commons and beside the chic new center for Amazon@Penn is the Gourmet Grocer—or “GoGro”, as affectionately nicknamed by students who are desperately trying to hold onto the vibes of the soon–to–be–gone FroGro. The Gourmet Grocer is known for its arguably overpriced but high quality retail selection of organic and healthy foods and for its sweet meal–swipe equivalency deal on weeknights after 9 p.m. (if you haven’t utilized this yet, you should). And now, as of the end of spring break, Gourmet Grocer has expanded and will be serving ready–to–eat food. This is big. Makeover season is upon us.
The expansion happened almost by accident. When Amazon@Penn was still under construction, the builders thought they would need more space than they actually ended up using. This left extra space next to Gourmet Grocer, and Bon Appetit Retail Manager Kyle Grizzard decided to capitalize on the opportunity. Instead of leaving empty space, they would use the room to help good old Gourmet Grocer evolve. Thus, the accidental expansion of GoGro was born. Thank you yet again, Amazon.
“It’s kind of trying to be Whole Foods,” says Daniel Bulpitt (C '20) of the recent updates to the store. And he’s not wrong. The combination of healthy retail and homey ready–to–eat options is reminiscent of the chain. The new additions include a full salad bar, hot bar with soups and other foods and breakfast sandwiches. The update also looks to promote GoGro’s granola vibe even further by showcasing different local products at various times.
With this expansion, Gourmet Grocer has established itself even further as a unique grub spot on campus. It’s open later than Houston, it serves healthy alternatives to typical dining hall food, and its somewhat high prices can be paid for with dining dollars, SFS or real cash. Now when you walk into GoGro, not only are you hit with the sight of various labels boasting “gluten–free,” “vegan” and “organic”, but also with the sweet scent of new and improved noms, right there and ready to go. Rejoice.