Vanderbilt Opens Natural Food Store

Vanderbilt Opens Natural Food Store

IN A WORD...Vanderbilt's new Nectar natural products c-store features six tersely named sections like "liquid" and "body."

Vanderbilt University Dining-Services has opened Nectar, its first campus natural food store, which retails gluten free products, organic produce, natural and organic entrees, artisan cheeses and more than 500 packaged products from three dozen manufacturers, like Amy's Organics, Acai Juices and Kiss My Face body care. The store, located in a freshmen dormitory, promises students a convenient, contemporary, "Zen-like" shopping experience, says Nectar creator Camp Howard, who is also associate director and executive chef of Vanderbilt Dining. Everything sold in the store is certified to be "clean," meaning they contain no hydrogenated fats, artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings or preservatives.

"Our staff members are excited to help shoppers explore delicious, natural foods," says Howard. "At Nectar we are dedicated to offer our student alternatives."

Students are also able to use their VU Meal Plan at the store. "This store was previously a retail market, however we've seen a rise in Meal Plan participation at this location and an increase in sales by 30%," comments Associate Director Spiros Vergatos, who is responsible for the daily operations at Nectar.

Nectar's selection is divided into six sections—Liquid, Grain, Ice, Body, Mind and Think. The Body section includes a complimentary tea bar where students can sample the latest organic, natural teas, while the Think section provides pamphlets on campus initiatives and a computer accessing web sites on all the products sold at the store.