How Many Fresh & Cos Is Too Many Fresh & Cos?
By Kate Fustich
Those familiar with dining options near NYU may have noticed a recent change in the culinary landscape. Sadly, the Au Bon Pain that once stood on West 8th street as a beacon of flaky, gluten-y goodness, has been recently replaced by a futuristic new Fresh & Co.
This change, while certainly unfortunate due to a decrease in the local croissant population, is also strange for another reason. Walk just 748 feet around the corner, and there lies yet another, long-standing Fresh & Co. on Broadway.
We get it, it’s New York City: expect a Starbucks on every block and all that. But two freaking Fresh & Cos on the same damn square block?
Andrew, a cashier at the new West 8th street location, offered little explanation as to why the new store had opened. He said business had been slow at the six-week-old store, but this fact was already painfully clear. On a Monday evening on 5:30 P.M., practically prime post-work snacking hour, I was the only patron in the large, bright space.
At the Broadway location, manager Jessica was happy to share the finer points of the Fresh & Co. menu and how they differed between stores. “The new place has more options, different drinks, and more seating,” Jessica said. Despite this, the Broadway location was positively bustling in comparison to the tumbleweed blowing down on West 8th street. Even if the difference between a Blueberry Limeade and a Peach Green Tea was enough to warrant an entirely new location, wouldn’t the proximity be a financial burden regardless?
According to Ty Sullivan, Director of Marketing and Social Media for Fresh & Co., the expansion is only helping the company grow. He describes the decision as a “fruitful” one and says that the new store on W. 8th St. is necessary for a growing delivery service demand (they deliver????). Sullivan also says that the size of the new store is intended to target the student demographic as a larger space to meet and work. Well, you certainly won’t have trouble finding an entire table for you and your Organic Chemistry textbook.
Cashier Andrew really put it best, though. “You know those things in life that just don’t make sense?” he said wistfully. “Well, this is one of them.”