Food cart serves up hot sandwiches for baseball season

Rebecca Macomber, N’reener’s employee, hands a freshly-prepared Italian sausage to customer Marin Rosenquist.

Alexis Campbell, News Contributor

For the past month, a bright orange food truck parked outside of the Oregon State University bookstore has been serving up pastrami, cheesesteak, and sausage to hungry passer-bys. 

Though N’Reeners New York Style Sandwiches is based in Albany, the cart is currently on campus until May 5 for the baseball season. For owner Norene Collins, who graduated from OSU, the location is one of her favorites.

“I love being on this campus,” Collins said. “Any time I can connect N’Reeners to an OSU sporting event I am all over it.”       

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Collins owns four N’Reeners carts as well as a brick and mortar restaurant that is located in the basement of Linn County Circuit Court. She also owns an espresso stand. According to Collins, she decided to enter the food business because she was looking for a new direction in life.       

“I was thinking of a drastic change in my life, heading in a new direction, and I was looking for a new hobby or something to occupy my time,” Collins said.

Though she had little experience in the food industry, Collins decided to purchase a small, basic cart. Since hot pastrami is her favorite sandwich she began to test out different types of pastrami, searching for the best flavor.  

N’Reeners currently serves four different types of sandwiches at the Corvallis food truck. According to Collins, the New York cheesesteak sandwich and the hot pastrami seem to be the favorites with customers.

Collins enjoys the mobility and flexible nature of a food cart compared to a brick and mortar store.   

“If a location isn’t working, if the demographic has changed, we can move to another location,” Collins said.

According to Collins, the current location has worked out well. The cart has been popular during its time at OSU, especially with fans coming to watch baseball games.

“We’ve been blessed with the business we have received from here,” Collins said. 

According to K’Briel Lewis, manager of the N’Reeners food cart, the OSU location is always busy. Lewis constantly works in different places but has particularly enjoyed seeing the new demographic of a college campus.

“You get so used to working in one place and then you are needed in another. It’s pretty interesting,” Lewis said.

N’Reeners New York Style Sandwiches food cart is open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. 

Currently, Collins has no plans of opening another food truck but hopes to expand the catering aspect of the business. After leaving OSU, the N’Reeners truck will travel back to Albany for a short time before preparing for the busy summer fair and festival season.