Salad Box in Leeds University Union served its final customers last week as a decision was made to close the healthy food outlet after several years of reportedly poor sales. Salad Box will be replaced in January 2020 by an ice cream and dessert outlet under the title ‘Scream’, a pun on “ice cream”.
The ice cream store will be run by students and stocked from a local ice cream supplier, Yorvale. Yorvale prides itself on its sustainability and traditional methods of production with the ice cream produced only 100 metres from where it is milked.
LUU said that they ‘are looking at stocking a local ice cream supplier with a big focus on sustainability who are able to offer us great quality at price students will love’
Located at Fossfield farm on the outskirts of York just 27 miles from LUU, the delivery distance between LUU and the farm means that the environmental footprint from delivery will be small.
Yorvale Dairy on their website claim:
“Our herd of dairy cows graze on lush Yorkshire grass and because they only ever produce milk for Yorvale, the result is stress-free cows that produce really creamy milk which is pasteurised on the farm before being mixed with the finest natural ingredients to create our exquisite products”
LUU said they have come to the decision because ‘changing consumer behaviour means we want and need to use that space for an outlet that will be used and loved by more students’.
Salad Box has long provided students with the option of buying a healthier lunch compared to other outlets in the Union. Some students, when asked by the Gryphon felt it was ironic that a salad store was being replaced by an ice cream parlour.
One student said “I don’t think it’s a very good advertisement for healthy eating and it’s just taking away another place that students can have a healthy and easy access lunch. I’ve just never heard anyone say they really want ice cream at University apart from like one month of the year when it’s sunny”.
Another student was also critical saying they thought “it’s a shame that one of the healthiest options from the Union is taken away”. However, she did make sure to add that “she didn’t use it anything as found it too expensive”
However, the response from some students that the Gryphon spoke to was more positive. One student declared that they’d “get ice cream anytime throughout the year” while another said, “I love ice cream but I’ll probably buy it more in the summer”.
Another student demanded to know more details. They said, “I want to know if they’re doing waffles, milkshakes and cookie dough”. One student also added “They need to have bubblegum ice cream”
When asked about healthy eating options in the Union, an LUU spokesperson said:
“We will be looking to take some of the menu items into our other outlets, for example, Jacket Potatoes will be sold in Pyramid Canteen”.
One student praised the music tastes of the Salad Box staff saying she was “sad to see the late, great Salad Box go. Average salad but banging tunes.” She offered “thanks to Sam (Salad Box Goth) and his in house playlists”.
The move has proven too controversial with some even calling for extreme action. Former Gryphon Editor-in-Chief Robert Cairns, who previously worked at Salad Box, didn’t hold back calling “this is a f***ing travesty”. In an extended statement, Robert considered the possibility of “chaining [himself] to the front of the store” and declared “the students will not stand for this”.
However, he ultimately did acknowledge “it was only a matter of time really”.
There were also concerns amongst some students over the plastic waste that might potentially be created. However, the new store will reportedly use non-plastic disposable cutlery and containers.
For staff who currently work in Salad Box, staff will be redeployed to other outlets and when the new dessert bar is open, it will be staffed with a focus on maximising student opportunity.