Community favorite clubs are back in business

A student prepares to eat Challah on its opening night.
Beloved clubs such as Claremont Challah are reopening their businesses to the 5C community. (Xiao Jiang • The Student Life)

With Turf Dinner done, 5C clubs are finally making their comeback. Here are three community favorites to keep an eye out for.

Claremont Challah

Claremont Challah bakes and sells fresh loaves of fun-flavored bread every week at Pomona College to raise funds for local food banks. 

With over 10 years of experience, Claremont Challah was originally part of the nation-wide organization Challah for Hunger but has since split from Challah for Hunger in order to have more agency over their donations. 

However, COVID-19 put a hiatus to the operations of the club. 

“We met a couple of times and tried to think if there were ways we could keep it going,” Helen Paulini PO ’22 said. “In the end, we just kind of had to put a pause on it.”

Reopening has brought its own set of complications. In the past, the club had access to the Frary Dining Hall kitchen, which has the industrial equipment necessary for the volume of challah baked weekly. 

However, emails sent to dining services in May came back with news that this would no longer be possible. The club considered scaling back operations but were eventually able to secure a spot at Frank Dining Hall’s kitchen. 

“We got the green light about a week ago, just a couple days before Turf Dinner,” Paulini said. “That was quite a whirlwind — to go from [not having access to a kitchen] to having our first sale in a week.” 

What’s left to do is plan for the future. Vegan options are already offered, and a gluten-free option is in the works. They are also looking to sell at other spots in the 5Cs. Updates will be posted on their Instagram @challahgram and their Facebook @ClaremontChallah

For now, they’ll be selling every Thursday at 9:45 p.m. and Friday at 9:45 a.m. by the fountain at the Smith Campus Center at Pomona. They accept payment in Flex dollars, Claremont Cash and cash. 

Milk and Honey

If you’re more of a drinks person, you may want to check out Milk and Honey, a 5C-run boba store that focuses on creating a fun, collaborative and inclusive space for people to enjoy a nice drink. 

Milk and Honey was born in 2016 at Lyon Court residence hall’s lounge, where Samuel Lin PO ’20 made boba drinks for friends. Realizing there was a demand for boba on campus, he started Milk and Honey.

Jasmine Zhou PO ’24 joined Milk and Honey in Spring 2020 and is now a head manager.

“It was so fun,” Zhou said. “You get to work with a great group of people. It was also really amazing to work in a store and meet lots of different people from across the 5Cs.”

Two boba drinks are held.
Milk and Honey provides boba to the 5C community.(Courtesy: Milk & Honey)

Like Claremont Challah, they weren’t able to keep their operations running through the online year. 

“Over the online semester, we would just send pictures of boba that we were drinking to each other.” Zhou said. 

Back and ready to open, they’re looking to expand their menu by adding Thai tea drinks and maybe food. Most of their drinks are lactose-free, and they offer caffeine-free and milk-free options. 

Due to restrictions on cross-campus dining, they can only serve Pomona students for the time being.

“This used to be a space where you would see friends from all across the 5Cs,” Zhou said. “We hope that it will come back in the spring semester.”

They will open after fall break on Oct. 21 at the Smith Campus Center’s Café 47 on Pomona’s campus. While hours are not yet finalized, they have served from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the past. Updates will be posted to their Instagram @milkandhoney5cs and their Facebook @milkandhoney5Cs

Groove Nation 

Historically the largest hip hop and street style dance crew at the 5Cs, Groove recruits dancers from all 5Cs and dance backgrounds. Groove holds a big end-of-the-semester showcase and several small events, either from invitations or organized internally. 

Over the online year, they took the opportunity to divert from performing and look inward. 

“We’ve had a lot of discussions about how [to] commit to education and have a respectful relationship with hip hop culture,” Sophie Kim SC ’24 said, “given that a lot of us do not have a background in hip hop dance.”

They split into groups to learn and teach each other about different styles of hip hop and its history.

“We put in a lot of effort to change the structure of the club. Maybe that was possible because [last semester] was online,” dancer Hina Tanabe PO ’23 said. “If we [went] back in person in fall 2020, I wonder whether we would have taken the same approach. But now we’re making that shift.”

Groove held auditions for incoming dancers on the last weekend of September. They changed their auditions to reflect their shift: emphasizing freestyle dance instead of only choreography, and conversing about learning through dance and engaging in anti-racist politics. 

“Through our audition process, we definitely set the tone that we are committed to education,” Tanabe said. “We have been able to confirm to ourselves that this is something that we want to do and have incorporated in our decision making.”

They are looking forward to incorporating what they’ve learned into their performances as well. 

“One concrete thing we’ve talked about doing is adding freestyle cyphers into our shows,” Kim said. In the past, “We’ve [thought] of group performances as just doing choreography. This year, we’re hoping to have a freestyle cypher that the community can join into and dance.”

One concern is managing the unusual volume of incoming dancers, nicknamed Groovies, and organizing their training and performances while continuing to make Groove a welcoming space for them. 

“We want to make sure that everyone feels like they are part of the family,” Tanabe said. 

Groove will be posting updates on their Instagram @groovenationdc and their Facebook @groovenationdancecrew.

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