Other campuses: Munchies market making money

(U-WIRE) NEW YORK-After a semester of hard work, Columbia University Snacks founders Brandon Arbiter, SEAS ’06, and Jordan Davis, CC ’05, have seen their student enterprise develop into a successful venture.

Since its launch in October, CU Snacks has grown from a weekend-only service to a nightly operation.

The business has tripled its product line. “We’ve just expanded into pudding and yogurt, and Monday we will have eight new entries, including apple pies, tortellini, oven pizzas and Red Bull,” Arbiter said.

Sales and distribution have also grown. According to Arbiter, total revenues for the first month exceeded $10,000. The 15-employee delivery service includes two managers and three assistant managers.

Judd Gartenberg, CC ’06, is an assistant manager and director of operations. He said that CU Snacks fills between 20 and 40 orders most nights, with Sunday and Thursday being the busiest nights.

“Catering to parties with plastic cups, chips, and salsa helped our revenues on Friday, our slowest day,” Davis said.

Although business is good, Arbiter and Davis are still looking to expand.

“My first priority is putting money into the business; it’s all about increasing and expanding,” Arbiter said, especially to Furnald and Barnard College, where they have the fewest sales. The service boasts five-minute delivery times to Wien and East Campus, and 15 minutes to Woodbridge, 47 Claremont and the Barnard Quad.

CU Snacks now has a significant repeat clientele.

“We have a solid customer base that orders from us every night,” Davis said.

One such customer, Timothy Hearin, CC ’06, said that he orders three nights a week on average, and described the staff as amicable and professional. He said that one reason he patronized the service was because it was student-run.

“I feel like I’m helping out other kids like me when I order,” Hearin said.

CU Snacks is working to expand beyond on-campus deliveries as well. It delivers to non-Columbia housing north of 110th Street, and is looking for other sales opportunities as well.

-Christine G. Ortiz