Posted by Max Siegelbaum
Esperanto, the downtown restaurant known best for its brick of cheese and crust, the doughboy, and local frozen yougurt shop, Plum Dandy, will be handing out free samples of its products at the Skidshop this week.
Esperanto will be visiting on Friday, Oct. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m, while Plum Dandy will visit Saturday at the same time and location.
These visits are part of a larger ongoing promotional program established by Bob Carlton, technology sales and social program administrator of the Skidshop, and the rest of the staff at the store. For the past two years, Carlton has opened the doors to local restaurants, stores and community organizations.
"Last year we had an event for the golf team," Carlton said, "we cleared out the store and set up a driving range." Along with the driving range, the team sold related products as well as provided golf instruction and various prizes. The team used the event to promote its existence and raise money for travel and other expenses.
"We try to showcase the restaurants as well as promote the later hours of the Skidshop," Carlton said. The participating restaurants receive publicity with minimal costs, while the Skidshop receives higher foot traffic at the slower, later hours of operation.
The program was largely created to publicize the Skidshop's late hours of operation. The shop extended its Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday hours from 9:15 a.m. to 7 p.m., a change Carlton said would provide students with an opportunity to pick up any last minute materials they may need.
"We understand that most students do their work later in the day. Students working will realize that they need something, but will be unable to purchase it. Longer hours give these students an opportunity to purchase what they need to finish their work," Carlton said. He added that the shift in hours is directed toward art students, in particular.
Carlton intentionally chooses establishments that have a close relationship with the college, "All restaurants that visit the store take the Skidcard. Once they register with the college, we approach them and invite them to the shop. It allows them to promote their product without having to spend money on something like an advertising campaign," Carlton said.
A schedule of upcoming food vendors can be found on the store's website. Upcoming vendors include Spring Street Deli, Legends Café and Pizza Works. All events will feature free samples and will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.