Ever since senior Alyssa Joyce first saw that Passport Café’s quintessential sushi products were missing from the café refrigerator, she has been longing for them to return. This hunger is felt by many at the University of Richmond.
Passport and Everything Convenience have not sold sushi since the first week of February, making students wonder whether these sushi products will return.
The sushi had not been sold because UR’s supplier, Samurai Sushi, was not licensed to sell wholesale products, said Josh Wroniewicz, dining services' director of purchasing.
“Wholesale is anything sold to us for us to resell,” he said. “Samurai Sushi has to get a license from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”
Samurai Sushi has a Japanese restaurant in Glen Allen, located approximately 12 miles from campus. Wroniewicz said UR would try to source sushi from a different place if needed. Dining Services has had a long relationship with Samurai Sushi and would like to wait for it to get the license, he said.
“Samurai Sushi has to go through a training that is at the end of March, and we are hoping to have the stuff back by early April,” he said. “But I think that’s a best-case scenario.”
Joyce used to eat at Passport multiple times a week because the sushi was gluten-free and she cannot eat gluten, she said. Passport has replaced the sushi with noodles, but they contain wheat, she said.
“Now, I often don’t eat lunch because I don’t have time to eat anywhere else,” Joyce said. “I know Passport has gluten-free bread options, but I usually wait in line for those for about 20 minutes. I just don’t have time to do that between classes.
“If you’re going to remove gluten-free options for people on campus, you need to put something else that is available for quick grab-and-go from that location. Because only having noodles with gluten in them makes it difficult for people who do have allergies.”
The first couple of weeks of February, people would come into Passport and get something else, assuming that the sushi would return, said sophomore Molly Krulak, a Passport employee. Krulak said she also hoped the sushi would return soon.
“Right now, we are getting less and less people coming and getting sushi off of the shelves,” Krulak said. “People definitely come to the International Center to get sushi, so people are definitely disappointed that it’s not there anymore.”
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