Local vendors give away wares to Rowan students

Local vendors give away wares to Rowan students

By Jessica Beym

Dozens of local merchants set up shop Friday on the Rowan University student center patio to hand out slices of pizza, bags of goodies, coupons and fliers in hopes of reeling in new student customers.

The annual Merchant Showcase, sponsored by Rowan's Office of Student Activities and the Greater Glassboro Chamber of Commerce, was designed to introduce the college's on-campus population of 3,000 students to area businesses.

Cathy Mineo, owner of Antica Trattoria on East High Street, dished out thick slices of Chicago-style pizza, garlic knots and mini-sandwiches to students as they picked up a menu from the restaurant.

"When you're out of the house, you need a treat. You need some homemade food, and that's what we make," Mineo said. "We're trying to promote more for the new students because they don't know us."

Acme Market's store manager Mark Dombrowski helped other employees sign up the students for courtesy cards and enter them into a drawing for three different gift baskets one with food, another with cleaning supplies and a third with first aid needs.

"We just want to make a connection, get involved, meet some of the kids," Dombrowski said. "We saw a lot of people in the store this weekend. You could tell they were freshman or were from out of town because they had their heads bent, looking up at the signs."

Acme is one of many vendors who take part in the Rowan Card, which is similar to a debit card and lets students shop around town with their "Boro Bucks."

While music played in the background on Friday, hundreds of students flowed through the rows of tables, grabbing snacks, free pens and papers or other gifts and taking note of what the stores had to offer.

"It's great," said Alex Alterman, a freshman from Ocean Township. "I learned about the stores in the area, what I can get to by walking, which pizza places are the best and where to get a good cup of coffee."

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Date Published: Saturday, September 8, 2007 - 01:00