SUNY Potsdam Students Rate Purple Rice as Most Welcoming Local Business

SUNY Potsdam Diversity and Inclusion Action Coalition Presents 'Student-Friendly' Award to Purple Rice

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From left, SUNY Potsdam Diversity and Inclusion Action Coalition Chair Lonel Woods, Purple Rice owner Alex Chen and DIAC Community Outreach Subcommittee Chair Jay Pecora.

POTSDAM, NY (12/15/2017) (readMedia)-- SUNY Potsdam's Diversity and Inclusion Action Coalition recently recognized Purple Rice with the campus's first-ever award recognizing the shop as Potsdam's Most Student-Friendly Business.

The award is based on a survey of graduating SUNY Potsdam seniors that members of DIAC completed last year. DIAC Chair Dr. Lonel Woods and Dr. Jay Pecora, who leads the coalition's community outreach subcommittee, recently presented the honor to Purple Rice proprietor Alex Chen.

"We hope that this award recognizes that some businesses work very hard to welcome SUNY Potsdam students, who come from all walks of life. That businesses are open to this diversity of backgrounds, and are welcoming to all of our students, is valued highly by the College," Pecora said.

Chen said that it was a great honor to receive the award.

"It means that the students shop here, and it encourages me to bring in more good products," she said. "It's fun to interact with the students, it's really interesting. I just enjoy interacting with my customers and joking with them."

Located at 20 Elm St., Purple Rice is an Asian grocery store offering a wide range of imported foods, spices, snacks and hard-to-find ingredients, from ramen noodles to Asian mangoes. Chen also offers a rotating daily menu of prepared lunches that customers can take to go, including fresh soups, noodle dishes and sushi.

In addition to Purple Rice, DIAC also recognized nine businesses as runners-up, all of which also received high ratings from students. The runners-up included Chilly Delight, First Crush, North Country Neighbors Flea Market, Piercing by Tat2Pauly, Potsdam Food Co-op, Price Chopper, the Roxy Theater, the UPS Store and Scoops Ice Cream.

SUNY Potsdam's Diversity and Inclusion Action Coalition is made up of faculty and staff, as well as student representatives and community members. DIAC works to support the College's goals of building a safe, supportive and inclusive environment where all members of the campus community are valued. To learn more about DIAC and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SUNY Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit