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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Gray Jett Café brings vegan options to the Marquette community

The name, Gray Jett, is the combination of the last names of owners Shana Gray and Andren Jett.

Gray Jett Café officially opened its doors to the Marquette and Milwaukee communities Aug. 25. The café specializes in vegan and vegetarian menus, while offering non-vegan alternatives. 

The name, Gray Jett, is the combination of the last names of owners Shana Gray and Andren Jett.

Jett said Gray Jett has been featured in Marquette Dining takeovers for the past four months at the Alumni Memorial Union, which helped build momentum for the official opening. Dining takeovers are when different restaurants are featured in Marquette Place, a dining option for students, for a certain period of time.

The surrounding communities welcomed the café with open arms, with lines on opening weekend stretching halfway down W. Wells Street.

Gray said the support and love from the community has been mind-blowing.

“This is why we had the buildup, to finally see your vision come through. The enjoyment of seeing people, meeting new people you never knew existed, who become friends and regulars … it’s not just being a customer, it’s a one-on-one personalized experience,” Jett said.

Jett said the BBQ Brisket, Jerk Tacos and the Buddha Bowl have been popular items on the menu.

“We’ve been able to take those flavors from jackfruit or walnut and create a delicious dish that you would never know you’re missing meat but still eating something healthy,” Jett said.

Jett said this area previously had a deficit of choices, most of them being fast food.

Victoria Pawlowski, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, tried the vegan café on opening day.

“The manager was walking around greeting everyone and making sure everything tasted good. You could tell this restaurant mattered to everyone who was there running it … In the coming weeks, the restaurant will run more and more smoothly as the staff gets into the groove,” Pawlowksi said.

Pawlowksi said she would definitely be returning to the café, as she enjoyed her experience and the food.

“From my perspective, almost everything on the menu is something fun and flavorful, even if you’re not vegan, they’ve got options for you,” Pawlowski said.

Gray said the café features various shades of green grass and plants, with flower bouquets on marble counters.

“You want your space to be as warm and inviting as possible, which is why with our interior and exterior we wanted to keep it green, period. Because that’s our mindset. To try to be simple, green and clean as much as we possibly can,” Gray said.

Gray said anyone working at the café is like family, learning and supporting the vision to bring back humility and old-fashioned values of personal connection and serving customers with transparency.

“We are always asking what we can do better, how can we improve, etc. Criticism isn’t always meant to destroy you, sometimes it’s meant to build you,” Jett said.

Gray said this entire process from the beginning to the grand opening has been full of excitement, nervousness and enjoyment.

“It’s like a rollercoaster. You’re scared to get on, it’s a ride, but we are up for the ride, sitting front and center. At the end you’re glad you jumped on,” Gray said.

Jett said Gray Jett is aiming to be a pillar in the community, servicing food and conversation.

“It takes only one person to see your vision and have that belief in you, to you actually launching it. We don’t fear failing. You have to fail in order to succeed, that’s why we are standing here today,” Jett said.

This story was written by Trinity Zapotocky. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Trinity Zapotocky
Trinity Zapotocky, Assistant News Editor
Trinity Zapotocky is a sophomore studying Communications and Marketing. She is from Naperville, Illinois and is currently the Assistant News Editor for the Marquette Wire. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching Gilmore Girls, going to the gym, and trying new coffee spots. Trinity is excited to cover important news and grow at the Wire this year.

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