Midnight Oil’s lunch menu has become a favorite among Harding students and Searcy locals alike. The changing of seasons means the return of the summer menu with old favorites like the “untitled” sandwich and curry chicken salad, and new crowd pleasers like the colossal club.
During the 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. lunch hours, Midnight Oil hosts a number of people all lining up and filling the small coffee shop for the three hour span. Barista junior Tyler Newton said that this time is always extremely busy and filled with many people who have lunch there everyday.
“It creates a different environment for about three hours during the time that we serve lunch,” Newton said. “We get a very specific crowd and it creates a different environment in line and behind the bar. Around 11 everyone piles in and then it is non-stop for the rest of the lunch hours.”
However, the success of the menu has brought some challenges that affect the shop on a daily basis, like the large amount of grocery store runs that must be made by employees to replenish necessary ingredients throughout the day. In order to hopefully remedy some of these challenges, manager Zak Kelley has started a project with barista senior Addie Hayes.
Behind Midnight Oil on the employee entrance ramp sits several flower pots filled with various fruit and vegetable plants, all ingredients used frequently on the lunch menu. These pots are the beginning of what Hayes and Kelley hope will soon turn into a fully sustainable garden that Midnight Oil can use to supplement their lunch menu instead of buying their produce from a grocery store, saving time and money.
Hayes said she thought of the idea last summer when she was interning with Midnight Oil and thought of the project as a way to bridge the gap between the Kibo mission team the coffee shop benefits and Midnight Oil itself.
“I wanted Searcy citizens to know what Kibo Group was all about by seeing how Midnight Oil can change its own community in the same way Kibo does for its community in Jinja, Uganda,” Hayes said.
Kelley said he feels the garden is a way for Midnight Oil to practice the sustainable lifestyle the Kibo mission team is preaching to the people of Jinja, Uganda.
“Kibo group’s whole message is sustainability,” Kelley said. “They want to bring sustainability to villages in East Africa. Something that we need to do as Midnight Oil is be sustainable in what we do, so it is cool that we can bring some form of sustainability to our lunch menu by growing things in the back.”