Story by Bella Tommey
Following the opening of burger joints Twisted Root and Fat Sal’s earlier this year, the availability of healthy options in West Campus has been more questionable than ever. Barley Bean, a one-stop shop opening on October 15 on 23rd Street and Rio Grande, is an urban store-meets-cafe that is designed to cater to students living in West Campus. A community table and warm atmosphere make the area a potential study space and hang-out zone as well as somewhere to grab groceries or dinner.
Many students at The University of Texas at Austin fall victim to the dreaded freshman 15, but is that so surprising when West Campus – the predominant residential area for undergraduate students – only offers fast food or a “salad” loaded with bacon and cheese? “It’s difficult to try and find places to eat on campus that cater to your budget but also enable you to eat proper, healthy food that you enjoy,” says Madison Behm, a sophomore business major living in the area. “The nearest grocery store is not within walking distance.”
This desire for wholesome options was picked up by entrepreneur and Barley Bean founder Ryan Mosler, who decided to step in. After moving to Austin, Mosler and his wife began their journey to create an urban cafe. They wanted to fulfill the desire for a location on campus that offers high-quality, diverse products in one spot — a place to hang out with friends, grab groceries for later and study while enjoying a smoothie or salad for lunch.
“Our menu at Barley Bean is based around healthy options; nothing here is fried. This concept was designed to provide unique options to satisfy every palate,” says Mosler.
Mosler tells ORANGE that salads, wraps and toasted baguettes are the staple items for Barley Bean’s future menu. He believes the smoothies and freshly squeezed juices, which are free of sugar additives and 100 percent natural, will be popular items. Barley Bean will also offer thirteen supplements to give college students the extra boost they may need around exam time and cater to gluten-free and vegan students.
In addition to traditional marketing methods, Mosler and his team plan to share samples of their favorite products and reach out to students via social media, promoting specials and new items. Bevo Bucks will be accepted and free delivery provided.. Mosler believes that by giving students the option to choose what products will be sold in the store, individuals will be educated about making healthy choices and better prepared for life after college.