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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pinkberry will hurt Tucson business

    I remember the first time I had Pinkberry. I was in the heart of Manhattan, spending $3 on a small portion of frozen yogurt with three spoonfuls of ordinary ingredients. I was not so thrilled with how expensive such a small amount of yogurt was, but I did not think much of it since I was in the wonderful and pretty expensive New York City. The trip was delightful, but when I got back to Tucson, I was ready to return to life in the Old Pueblo. Cheeseburger chimichangas, root beer-flavored gelato and peanut butter French toast.

    Then, I discovered that Pinkberry was coming to Tucson. I could not understand why. Tucson has so many locally owned restaurants that provide treats like frozen yogurt and other healthy goodies. It initially felt like there was this betrayal of the economy here. People are struggling to get by in our own state with their small businesses, so we outsource for something based on superficial popularity? I understand that Pinkberry has its benefits, but I think much needs to be said about what Tucson has to offer already.

    The Daily Wildcat reported that “with the arrival of Pinkberry in early January, both Cactus Grill and U-Mart will stop serving fro-yo and focus more on homemade ice cream.” This is upsetting. I love Cactus Grill’s frozen yogurt. For $0.99, I can get a cone of frozen yogurt with sprinkles. Without this option or the easy-access U-Mart, it feels like I’m being forced to choose the only and most expensive choice for frozen yogurt. Just because Pinkberry is popular does not make it cheap. Why is it that on-campus food is very convenient, yet outrageously expensive?

    At the same time, making frozen yogurt less accessible may drive students toward this new homemade ice cream focus, demonstrating a clear disregard for the health of the students. A scoop of ice cream has more calories from fat than its frozen yogurt equivalent. College students will have way more opportunities to get the less healthy ice cream option since it is cheaper and more abundant. Restricting the availability of frozen yogurt to students may be a smart business tactic but is not a decision based on nutritional integrity.

    While I appreciate the many restaurants at the Student Union Memorial Center, I think that a moment needs to be taken in concern to the city around the campus. The UA is in the middle of a food paradise. So many different ethnic cuisines reside within the 520, and I honestly have to wonder why they cannot be in the food court of the student union. Tucson’s economy needs a boost and its range of widely eclectic food staples should get a shot at the big leagues. What if the tastes of Fourth Avenue could be five minutes away from the Engineering building? Who would complain if Tucson restaurants got more revenue?

    I do not have anything against Pinkberry as a popular chain that stretches across the entire country, but I do like to have choices. I like being able to keep money within my own community and know that the dollars I spend help people within the same city as myself. Tucson is a very close-knit town that is made up of different people, ideals and cultures. I sincerely hope that one day all of the students, both from in and out of state, get a taste of that diversity.

    — Megan Hurley is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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