One of the first things my First-Year Counselor told my FroCo group about was the buttery. Yes buttery, as in “containing or tasting like butter” (according to the New Oxford Dictionary). The buttery (thankfully) is not a magical place where you can eat so much butter you have a heart attack. It is, however, a magical place in each residential college’s basement where you can (for a very low price) purchase late night food and snacks to fulfill those midnight cravings. And many of the items are what you’d usually associate as being very “buttery.”
Out of all butteries, Trumbull (my residential college aka Gryffindor for all the Potterheads out there), is nearest and dearest to my heart - mainly because we have the best name out of any buttery: The Trumbutt. It’s cute, it’s quirky, and it makes you forget about all the junk food you will likely consume once you arrive. (There are healthy options too!) My first year I only went to the Trumbutt if I was already at or near Trumbull late at night. Traditionally, first years (with the exception of a few colleges) live together on Old Campus, so anytime I went to Trumbull I had to walk five or so minutes from my actual dorm room. My friend Adia, however, worked a shift there so I would often go to pick up snacks when she was working.
Sophomore year was a major game changer. My suite and I had the late-night Thursday shift from 11:30pm-1am and it was usually full of hungry, studying, and mingling Trumbullians craving our awesome quesadillas and milkshakes. Pre-COVID, the Trumbutt’s menu was pretty standardized. You can choose to get snacks like oreos, cookie dough, chips, hummus, yogurt or drinks. But the stars of the show were always the microwaved, panini-pressed, and cooked foods: quesadillas, mozz sticks, dinosaur chicken nuggets, grilled cheeses, milkshakes, etc. The Trumbutt’s most popular item was always the “dino-nugget quesadilla” but really you could choose whatever toppings you wanted. Every shift could decide if they had some sort of “specialty” item(s) and mine was making bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches.
Full stocked fridge (Pre-COVID buttery)
While some butteries pay people who work shifts, the Trumbutt operates under a volunteer basis. A couple managers are in charge of picking up food at the wholesale club, scheduling shifts, and making sure the Trumbutt stays nice and clean after each night. The volunteer system means Trumbull has some of the lowest prices for food on campus. And if you work a shift you can eat as much food as you like! (I always started my shifts by making myself a snack).
Working the Trumbutt is always fun; we play music, make/eat yummy food, and spend time with fellow Trumbullians. I’d often invite my friends in other colleges during my shifts to see them/make them food. It was a great way to distract myself from school and hectic days, taking a break to be with my friends and community. And because it’s in the basement, the buttery (in most colleges) is also near ping-pong, billiards, and foosball tables. You can enjoy a quesadilla while shooting some pool!
Because of the pandemic, making food at the buttery isn’t an option this year. But thanks to the amazing work of my awesome roommates and fellow FroCo’s, Adia and Jeremy, the Trumbutt has been working under new COVID guidelines. They created an online system where Trumbullians can place orders for pre-packaged snacks and drinks. People working shifts (you can only work with people you live with this year) do a contactless delivery to the person’s suite/room. Think of Door-Dash but for Trumbull. So, every Monday the FroCos do a shift together and often get to deliver snacks to our first-years and other Trumbull friends.
“Bringing back the buttery during COVID was a way for us to bring Trumbull back together” (Adia Klein, ‘21). Regardless of its changing forms, the Trumbutt has remained a consistent pillar for community building and yummy late night snacks. And I’m glad that for one last time, I can provide other Trumbullians with their late night fix and just have a good time with my friends.
Current pre-packaged Trumbutt snacks!