Tuesday marked the grand opening of Cal Maritime’s newest dining addition, the Marketplace.  Though cadets and campus employees have been utilizing it since the spring semester in early February, the Academy held an official ribbon cutting and opening March 2 for a new campus eatery, the Marketplace. Transforming the traditional Dining Center beyond a dine-in offering, the Marketplace offers a large selection of pre-made hot meals for “grab- ‘n-go” as well as selling a variety of individually-packaged food and grocery items. Another new feature, a 1650-square foot patio was also unveiled, expanding outdoor dining space.

“We set out to do something – an idea –and it’s been turned into reality,” said President Tom Cropper. “It’s a beautiful day to celebrate that reality.” 

Interior of new marketplace with balloons
A bird’s eye view of the reimagined interior with pre-made hot meals, sandwiches, salads and individually packaged foods and ingredients.

“The Covid-19 environment has propelled us to take a hard look at our dining options,” shared Mark Goodrich, associate vice president for Enterprise Services. “We think our solution –the Marketplace -- offers great dining flexibility within a safe environment. Our cadets are now able to get either full meals or ingredients they can prepare for themselves,” he added. 

Throughout the Fall 2020 semester, a Food and Menu Advisory Committee worked in collaboration with various groups -- both on and off campus -- to develop a COVID-acceptable, affordable, and flexible dining program for cadets for the spring 2021 semester. The new program was developed in consultation with ASCMA, the Cal Maritime Alumni Association, and Keelhauler Families. It was endorsed by the Academic Senate Executive Committee and the Triad and approved by the Cabinet.  

New patio outside of Dining Center
New outdoor patio, construction funded by Sodexo

As part of the new food service contract with Sodexo which began in December 2019, the company worked with Cal Maritime on the new dining offerings. Sodexo also committed to fully funding a new exterior patio facing the waterfront that can be used for campus events, meals, or other reserved activities. Constructed over the past four months, the patio also provides ample outdoor seating during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our hope is that the new patio will celebrate the beautiful waterfront and allow cadets the opportunity to hold events or enjoy a meal overlooking the water,” said Brenan Connolly, Director of Strategic and Account Development, Sodexo USA.  

Ultimately, said Goodrich, the Marketplace will be open to the public and serve as an additional grocery shopping resource for the City of Vallejo. “Once the pandemic is behind us,” said Goodrich “we’re hopeful that members of the greater Vallejo community will be able to enjoy our dining offerings as well as our view.” 

Vallejo City Council District 6 representative Cristina Arriola joined the festivities and shared her appreciation for Cal Maritime and what the new Marketplace will bring to the area. “I love this campus,” she said. “It’s a diamond in this part of town.”

Learn more about the Marketplace

Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves nearly 1,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launched in the fall of 2020. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.