CAS celebrates grand opening of convenience store Dash at the Commons

Campus Auxiliary Services had a grand opening for the convenience-style store Dash at the Commons beginning Monday Oct. 24 at the Saratoga Commons. The store offers easy-to-carry items for on-the-go students, according to CAS Marketing Manager Rebecca Stewart. CAS arranged a series of promotions to encourage students to stop by and shop during its grand opening week. This included offering a Dash branded coffee mug with the purchase of a hot drink on Monday and providing buyers with a free Dasani water or Coke with the purchase of a cookie on Wednesday Oct. 26.

CAS will also give away a Dash branded tote bag with the purchase of a pint of Perry’s ice cream on Friday Oct. 28 and  has been offering the chance to win one of five $100 Dash gift cards throughout the week.

The idea of a convenience store had been in the works for some time, according to Stewart.

“We had been talking with the company about creating a store that’s more of a convenience-styled store for a while,” Stewart said. “It was just trying to come up with a location and a concept that made sense for the campus.”

Plans were finalized during the summer and later executed to create the store at Saratoga Commons, located adjacent to the town houses on campus. Part of the reason CAS chose to open the store in this location was because there was a large meeting room available that had been underutilized, according to CAS Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef Jonna Anne.

“The location was of particular interest this year because Red Jacket on Southside is closed for renovation, making it useful for students on that side of campus,” Stewart said.

Dash at the Commons is unique from all other CAS facilities in its intention to provide students with quick access to meals, Stewart said.

“We’re able to provide things that are very unique that we don’t offer anywhere else on campus,” Stewart said.

Some of the products offered at the store include a variety of frozen products, pints of ice cream, kombucha, frozen appetizers and soups to-go. The store will continue CAS’s incentive to support local businesses, Anne said.

“We still have our focus of buying local, New York State items,” Anne said. “That’s still our thread through all of our restaurants and cafes, and you will clearly see that at Dash.”

The products offered at Dash at the Commons will change and expand over the next couple of years, according to Assistant General Manager at CAS Keith Rosengren.

“One of the things with Dash being so new is that we started with a set inventory, but it’s something that we’re looking to grow,” Rosengren said.

One of the main motivators for sparking this change will stem from Geneseo students.

“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback so far. We have a wonderful woman who works during the weekdays and solicits a lot of responses by asking customers what they think and what they would like to see,” Rosengren said. “What Dash will be in a year or two will be determined by what the students want it to be.”

The store has received mixed reviews based on its location.

“Dash is kind of like a mini-super market,” Student CAS employee freshman Emma Williams said. “It’s very compressed, but it’s closer. The location is very convenient for people on Southside.”

Psychology major freshman Karina Cornier believes the store will attract mostly freshmen because it is closer to Southside.

“I don’t think too many people will visit the store. Only the freshmen that pass by it every day and those who live in the townhouses will visit it,” Cornier said. “People who live further away might be too lazy to make the walk."