The Sonder Market launched Oct. 27 as an on-campus cooperative selling fresh produce from a cart outside of the Union.
The new group had been storing its cart and refrigerator in the Union but had to find refuge in the Campus Y after the Union kicked it out.
“We just felt bad that they no longer had a storage space,” said Mathilde Verdier, social innovation initiative program coordinator for the Campus Y. “We’re here to support social entrepreneurs at UNC, so we were happy to accommodate them until they find a more permanent space.”
Marisa Scavo, founder and co-partner of Sonder Market, credited the Union with helping the group reserve a spot for its cart in the Pit, but she said the University might need to become more flexible as more student ventures start on campus.
“They’re the ones that have just completely improved our organization overall, but they also have a lot of rules in place that are understandably there, but hinder a lot of actions trying to be made,” she said of the Union.
For about a month before its launch, the market stored its produce cart in the Union space belonging to Fair, Local, Organic Food, its parent organization. After buying a refrigerator to hold leftover produce, Sonder Market began keeping the fridge in FLO’s space on Oct. 27.
Union staff discovered the market was sharing FLO’s space when they saw the refrigerator.
Tammy Lambert, the Union’s assistant director of student organizations, said the market had not applied for the space it was using. Student organizations must apply for office space before being able to keep anything in the Union.
“The Sonder Market just didn’t have any official space, and to be fair to other groups they couldn’t use the space they had their things set up in,” Lambert said.
Scavo received an email Tuesday night saying that the group had to move its supplies by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The market will be selling produce during FLO’s Second Fall Farmers’ Market today in the Union’s Great Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“It would have been nice if the Union had been more understanding because we’re such a unique vendor,” said Rossi Anastopoulo, director of product development for the group.
Members of the group went to talk to Richard Harrill, the market’s faculty adviser and director of the Campus Y, for help in finding a permanent solution.
They considered asking Davis Library and Student Stores before Harrill said there was a temporary space in the CUBE, a center for social innovation and entrepreneurship on the third floor of the Campus Y.
The market is still looking for a long-term place to keep its cart and refrigerator.
“We’re trying to find a solution so we don’t impose ourselves onto the Campus Y too much because we aren’t a part of the CUBE,” Scavo said. “But we have a huge refrigerator and a cart in their space.”