Mary Mai has been in the food industry for more than 20 years, and she recently opened a cafe inside the lobby of the Landmark apartment complex.

Located in downtown College Park, the Landmark apartments opened in fall 2015, and since then, the lobby has had “wasted space,” said junior economics major Chris de Raet, one of the building’s leasing agents and residents. However, when the cafe opened on Aug. 25, it created something unique to the Landmark, as other comparable apartment buildings — such as Terrapin Row, The View and The Varsity — do not have fresh food served inside their buildings.

“I could see it playing a role in someone’s decision on where they’re going to live,” de Raet said. “It’s one of those things — location, location, location — even something as small as that can make a difference.”

The View and The Varsity have retail locations underneath their buildings, which sophomore mechanical engineering major Zoe Van Nostrand said is similar to what the Landmark is offering.

“That would probably be a good thing when I’m looking at where I’m going to live next year,” she said. “But if it’s a difference of going into the lobby or going outside, then that’s not really that of a big of deal to influence where I’m living.”

This cafe features freshly made croissants and breakfast sandwiches, said senior communication major Louie Colella, a resident and leasing supervisor of the building. In addition, the kiosk offers drink options such as iced coffee, sorbet and yogurt-based smoothies. But a lot of residents and community members are enjoying the frozen yogurt and toppings bar the cafe offers, he noted.

“People have been loving it; they love that they can come down in sweatpants and grab froyo and not have to leave their building,” Colella said. “Everyone has been pretty positive about it. We’re still coming out with everything, [and] we’re still adapting.”

Everything on the menu ranges from $2 to $5, which is “pretty competitive pricing,” de Raet said.

The menu and hours are still changing, Colella said, as the staff is getting feedback from residents. The cafe is currently open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Friday, he said.

In addition to the fresh and convenient food, the students also love having Mai around, Colella said. Mai owned a similar kiosk at Temple University, she said, and corporate officials at the Landmark “recruited [her] to come down here.”

“I love to be in here and hang around and joking around with students,” Mai said. “My favorite part here [is in] the evening when they come in, a whole group, for yogurt, like kidding around, they laugh [and] that makes my day.”

Colella said he thinks this cafe “completely sets [the] building apart from other competitors,” especially as residents of Terrapin Row, like Van Nostrand, are frustrated and “disappointed” with the lack of convenient retail.

“One of the reasons I picked Terrapin Row is because there [was] supposed to be retail, but nothing has moved in,” she said. “If something moves in, I’ll probably stay, but if nothing moves into the retail space, then I’ll probably move somewhere else. There’s other off-campus apartments with retail underneath.”