2 More Cedar City Businesses to Join Campus Dining

Published: January 26, 2018 | Read Time: 4 minutes

porkbellys purple oasis suu dining services on campusFollowing the footsteps of James Duffy and his successful food truck turned campus brick and mortar Fat Zeus, 2 more local Cedar City businesses, Porkbellys and Purple Oasis, are joining T-Bird Nation on January 30. Both locations fulfill food categories that SUU students, faculty, and staff have been requesting.

After Fat Zeus’ smashing success in the Sharwan Smith Student Center on campus, SUU Dining Services began fielding calls from interested local businesses. “It was amazing to watch because previously, when we reached out to businesses about coming in, everyone was hesitant,” says Director of Dining Anthony Lazenby. “We had 6 different businesses ask us how they could come onto campus.” The dining services management team, aided by campus officials and student feedback, determined two prime locations for businesses and worked through the logistics. “We needed businesses that could come into our spaces without a lot of modifications,” says Retail Manager, Troy Hofheins. “We narrowed down the businesses, and made contractual offers to Porkbellys and Purple Oasis who both graciously accepted.”

With its iconic pig logo and catchy name, Porkbellys claimed the perch on the hill next to Pizza Hut on Cedar City Main Street in early 2017. Owners Eddie and Kate Meek have always had a soft spot for Cedar City. “We have family here in Cedar, and have been visiting for the past 15 years,” says Kate. “We fell in love with the friendly people and clean city, and thought, ‘Why not Cedar City?’” The couple packed up their roots from Las Vegas and California and over a combined total of 20 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, and moved to Festival City permanently. “We decided to open Porkbellys because we have a passion for serving unique meals we create,” says Eddie. “We wanted to make an impact here.”

Since opening the doors in February 2017, the 5 star rated restaurant continues to serve up mouthwatering unique meat dishes, traditional sides, and great customer service. The new location, named Porkbellys Express, will be tucked away in the location previously known as Thunder Pops. Eddie and Kate are certain T-Birds will be pleased with their offerings. “We’re excited to be a part of T-Bird Nation because it’s a huge part of the community,” says Eddie. “We hope our kids will attend the university, soon!” “The menu is a bit different from our normal menu, but we hope to satisfy hungry bellies with our unique eats that keep T-Birds coming back for more,” Kate says. Porkbellys Express will serve pulled pork sandwiches, pork nachos, tacos, sides, and 3 weekly specials.

At the opposite end of the Sharwan Smith Student Center, Purple Oasis will finally answer T-Birds long awaited pleas for healthy food and smoothies. Sawyer Griffin, a junior theater major at SUU, opened Purple Oasis for two reasons: tuition woes and love of food. “School is expensive, and I have to pay my own way,” says Sawyer. “I also love food, and wanted to introduce Cedar City to something good.” The solution was surprising and unexpected, a little combination of Hawaii and a red trailer. “My aunt lived in Hawaii for years and recently relocated to Salt Lake City,” Sawyer says. “We were eating acai bowls for breakfast one morning and she was wholly disappointed. There are so many great acai bowl locations in Hawaii. She looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘You can do better than this.’”

Inspired by Duffy’s food truck success and his aunt’s encouragement, Sawyer opened Purple Oasis, an acai bowl and smoothie food truck in Cedar City in June 2017.

Sawyer often faces the question of what is an acai bowl. “An acai bowl is basically a really thick smoothie that's been topped with granola, fruit or peanut butter, and then you wolf it down with a spoon,” says Executive Chef Doug Gerpheide. “It’s so delicious, you don’t know that you’re eating healthy.” Purple Oasis offers a variety of 5 acai bowls and 5 smoothies for customers to choose from. Not only are the bowls colorfully appealing, but they’re healthy too. “All of my menu items are made with fresh ingredients, and gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian,” Sawyer says. “I had a large following of students, athletes, and community members who loved my products. I’m excited to be on campus, working and serving my classmates.” Besides completing his theater degree, Sawyer hopes to grow Purple Oasis into something bigger, perhaps a franchise.

Purple Oasis will be open Monday through Friday7:00 am – 2:00 pm, and Porkbellys Express will be open Monday through Friday10:30 am – 2:00 pm. Both locations will be in the Sharwan Smith Student Center. Both locations will have soft openings on Tuesday, January 30. Community members are invited to enjoy both locations food at any time, and can enjoy free parking after 4 pm.

Contact Information:

Contact the Office of Marketing Communication

This article was published more than 5 years ago and might contain outdated information or broken links. As a result, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.