The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Dining opens new self-checkout retail outlet

Take an inside look at the MicroMarket through a virtual tour!

A brand-new way for students to purchase their favorite snacks and essentials has just arrived to the north side of campus.

The MicroMarket, a self-service convenience store located in the southeast corner of Rialto Dining Center, has officially opened its doors to UNI students for the new school year.

The hours for the MicroMarket will be more limited during the first few weeks of school and is scheduled to be open on weekdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., 2 to 4:30 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. The store is also open from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. According to UNI Housing and Dining, the hours will eventually expand to be open the same hours as the rest of the Rialto Dining Center.

The new UNI Dining retail outlet is the first self-checkout system on campus and works like most self-checkout registers at grocery stores. Any UNI student, faculty or staff member with an active UNI ID can select from over 2,000 items available for purchase. After customers have scanned their purchases using an item’s barcode, they can select a payment method which includes credit, Dining Dollars, ID charge and U-Bill or dining gift cards.

Since this is the first self-checkout system on campus, there are a few more security measures in place, such as additional cameras and scanning a UNI ID in order to enter the dining center and store.

The opening of the MicroMarket follows the recent closing of 23rd Street Market, which was located in the Commons.

The MicroMarket, located in the southeast corner of Rialto Dining Center, has replaced 23rd Street Market as the closest retail option for students on the north side of campus. (KATIE ZANCK)

“23rd Street Market served our campus well over the years, but as campus changed, we looked at it as an opportunity to try a new self-service convenience concept,” Carol Fletcher, Director of Dining, said. “We already had Essentials, Book Bistro, MU Food Court and Chats to support the center of campus, and Biscotti’s to support the south side of campus, and so we wanted something that would better serve the large number of students on the north side of campus.”

Many of the items that were sold at 23rd Street Market are still being offered at the MicroMarket even though the new store is smaller and designed for grab-and-go purchases.

UNI Housing and Dining had been toying with the idea of a self-service concept for years.

“We are excited to see how the campus responds to the MicroMarket and how it might be expanded upon and/or applied in other retail areas,” Fletcher said.

Other than opening the MicroMarket, UNI Housing and Dining has made some other changes for the new school year: weekend hours at Rialto are now adjusted to be open for both lunch and dinner, menu options at the Refinery — the allergen-friendly food venue — have expanded at both dining centers and options for online Catering To-Go dining and order ahead items on the GET mobile app have increased. Also, the Block 220 and All-Access meal plan have been added as an option for students living in the traditional dorms.

Those wanting to learn more about UNI Housing and Dining can visit their website at

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
HOPE SCHULTE, Staff Writer, Graphic Designer

Comments (1)

All Northern Iowan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Jason Van ClarkFeb 14, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    I’m really sad that the 23rd St. Market closed. My wife and I (both UNI alums) have gone to the Market every year for valentine’s day since 2002