The Symbiotic Bond Between Kisara, Mt. Tom’s, and Campus

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The Symbiotic Bond Between Kisara, Mt. Tom’s, and Campus

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Williston students make a bigger impact than they imagine on the local community, providing significant business for Easthampton’s many local restaurants.

Williston students enjoy taking advantage of Easthampton businesses, such as Kisara and Mt. Tom’s Ice Cream, and these businesses also benefit from the students’ hungry stomachs and Sammy Cards.

Easthampton is home to over 20 restaurants, ranging from small diners to upscale establishments like Coco and the Cellar Bar and Galaxy. Williston’s extended campus allows students to take full advantage of all Easthampton’s culinary options. Students turn to these restaurants for both a taste of home or to try something new.

CC Gray ’21, finds herself taking advantage of Easthampton’s restaurants frequently, spending $50 or more on food every week.

“I probably eat out three or four times a week,” she said. “At night, we have a lot of really good restaurants that take Sammy Cards, so it’s really convenient.”

Local restaurants that accept Sammy Cards include Antonio’s, Dunkin’, the Easthampton Diner, Riffs, and La Veracruzana.

Senior Brie Banas also tries to enjoy local restaurants as much as possible.

“I eat out as often as possible,” she said. “I would say three to five times depending on the week.”

Kisara, a Japanese and Korean restaurant on Cottage Street, opened its doors in 2017 and has attracted Williston students looking to diversify their dinners ever since.

Kisara is one of the most popular places for advisory dinner, and every night multiple students can be seen having dinner. By serving some of the best Japanese and Korean food in the Pioneer Valley, Kisara has become an irreplaceable part of the Easthampton food scene in just three years.

Mitchell Gohn, a manager at Kisara, finds that the restaurant is much busier during the school year.

“Williston brings a lot of business for us throughout the school year,” he told The Willistonian in a phone interview. “During the school year, I would say 30 – 40% of business is Williston students.”

Gohn notices a significant decrease in customers when school is not in session.

“During the summer, I can definitely say Kisara is not as busy,” he said.

Mt. Tom’s, a few doors down on Cottage Street, has been a staple for both Williston students and Easthampton residents since 2003. The old-fashioned candy and ice cream shop offers delicious homemade ice cream in unique flavors, such as lavender.

Students enjoy going to Mt. Tom’s on sunny afternoons, or even during the winter to dream of warmer days. Williston’s athletic teams often go to Mt. Tom’s together at least once a season to unwind and bond.

Similar to Kisara, Emma Blomstrom, a “scooper” at Mt. Tom’s, finds that the store makes a significant amount of business off of Williston.

“We get a lot of [Williston students] in here,” she commented. “We feel as though [Williston students] are always in the shop, hanging out. We get to chat with [students] and the staff.”

Blomstrom added that in the summer, Mt. Tom’s is a lot less busy because Williston is such a “significant impact” on the business.