Students spend more time shopping off the Hill
With the onset of a new school year, Easton shopowners and staff are seeing more Lafayette students visiting and shopping in their stores than ever.
From students visiting on weekends and during their free time, to parents ordering items for delivery to their students, the Lafayette community has become a growing consumer base for the shops based in the downtown area.
This trend has been more noticeable in the past few years, according to several downtown Easton shopowners, like Sweet Girlz Bakery, skincare boutique Skinterest and candy store The Carmelcorn Shop and many more.
When Lafayette is in session, several storeowners agreed that there is a spike in business, and this seems to become truer with each passing year.
One possible reason for so much traffic down the hill is the arts campus, where students are taking more classes at the Williams Visual Arts Center. Just about a five-minute walk from Centre Square, The Spot and the Williams Visual Arts Center may act as a gateway from which students can become more familiar with Easton.
Jackie Drago ‘18, who has taken classes down the hill, said, “It’s nice because I can get food at Dunkin Donuts or Quadrant. I’ve had class experiences going to Easton to see a movie or going to its nurture-nature center.”
“I think even having additional buildings opening on the arts campus both the fans buildings last year and the prospect of a new buildings actually increases the traffic a bit and then once people are down there I think that more people are drifting into restaurants and things downtown,” President Alison Byerly said.
Some students also make their way into town just as a fun free time activity. Quinn Miers ‘19 and Julie Wadja ‘19 said they love going into downtown in their spare time, especially to the Sweet Girlz Bakery.
“We try to go every weekend,” said Wadja, mostly to purchase the bakery’s delicious cupcakes.
Not only have Lafayette students increasingly been using Easton’s shops, but Lafayette parents have been, as well.
Families often will order treats, such as candy or baked goods, to be delivered to students from stores in Easton such as Easton’s The Carmelcorn Shop, open since 1931.
Sia Bassil, the owner of The Carmelcorn Shop, said that parents will often “call and have [her] send things up to the college,” such as their delicious array of candy desserts, especially during stressful exam weeks.
When asked if she has seen more Lafayette students in recent years, Bassil said she has been seeing not only students but also “more families from kids that come to the college,” who visit because of the “restaurants and things to do” in Easton.
Looking forward, several shop owners plan to work with Lafayette students and wish to see a stronger Lafayette presence in Easton.
John Huffman, owner of the print shop Logos and T-Shirts in Easton, said that he is currently “working with the cheerleaders, and the ski club… as well as countless fraternities and sororities.”