New mobile minimarket sells students nutritious meals

When you were young, there was one vehicle that could make you giddy with excitement right when you heard it coming: the ice cream truck. Now, in college, students could use such a vehicle to bring them joy in the midst of exams, money issues and relationship problems. Look no further than Washington Park (commonly referred to as “Frat Park”) on Nov. 1 for your new, grown-up and more nutritious oasis: the Illini Mini Market Express.

Dean Georgoulis, owner of the mini market, and his parents, Tony and Connie, will be taking turns driving the burgundy-colored van around campus. The van will be filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meat, microwavable meals, some dry food and toiletries. The Illini Mini Market Express hours have yet to be determined but will be roughly Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“With this food truck craze that has been going on for the past few years, we thought, ‘Why not jump on the bandwagon, but from a little different perspective?’” Connie said.

Dean expressed his belief that the business will be accepted by students because of its uniqueness.

“I think it will be very beneficial for student who are quite busy,” Dean said. “It’s a place where they can get their groceries quickly and efficiently.”

However, Natalie Rothstein, junior in LAS, had mixed opinions about the mini market.

“I think it’s a good idea as long as there’s some credibility,” Rothstein said. “I know some people might be skeptical about purchasing food from someone who is selling it out of a truck.”

But the Georgoulis family counts on taking it one day at a time to ensure that the business is safe.

“We’ll go, we’ll proceed and we’ll see what happens,” Connie said. “(The business) will evolve to the benefit of the people we’re serving.”

The business will offer some special accommodations for students with busy schedules like special orders on products.

“If (customers) are willing to help me out, then I’m willing to help them out with whatever items they would like to have,” Dean said. “We can try to be as accommodating a supermarket as possible.”

Connie Georgoulis, a semi-retired social worker and University alumna, said she looks forward to the social aspect of business. She is going to strive to give student the feeling of a “corner store.”

“I envision meeting some interesting students,” Connie said.

Although money is often the most necessary component in business, Connie feels that serving the needs of students will be the most important component in her business.

“When you fill a need, it’s a good component for success,” Connie said. “They say necessity is the mother of invention.”