On Wednesday, April 20, SwatSkates and Crumb Cafe will be collaborating to deliver students’ food. The event will be a twist on ’50s skating diners, but rather than honor the old-timey carhops, it will celebrate the skate culture that originated on the West Coast with skating runners, Mexican street food, and surf rock music. The joint event will be called “Skate and Bake” and will combine the high-octane nature of skating culture with the chillness associated with “4/20”.
The original idea for the collaboration came after an interaction between SwatSkates co-founder Feven Yared ’23 and Crumb Cafe Head Director Gidon Kaminer ’22. In an interview with The Phoenix, Yared described the interaction.
“Sometime late February, I was roller-skating in Singer traffic circle and he saw me and struck up a conversation about how we should begin to put this tentative plan into action, and how it would be cool to have me and/or other rollerskaters deliver food to Swatties at Crumb one night. I agreed, but was a little skeptical about skating indoors in a tight space and having to make frequent stops, but mainly I was worried about spilling food,” Yared said.
For the event, skaters will be hired at Crumb as paid employees. In an interview with The Phoenix, SwatSkates co-founder Ashley Huang ’24 spoke about what the event would entail.
“Our roller skaters will help support the existing Crumb runner(s) in helping run food orders from the kitchen. They’ll receive a brief training before Crumb opens, and we also might potentially open up the Crumb space more for safety reasons. We are planning on having the deliveries take place all night at the moment, but obviously it depends on how our skaters are doing energy-wise throughout the night,” she said.
SwatSkates is a relatively new club. It started during the Fall 2021 semester and has since developed into an inclusive community of roller skating, roller blading, and skateboarding enthusiasts. Yared spoke about SwatSkates’s vision for creating an inclusive and supporting community of skaters.
“SwatSkates is very intentionally a low-skates social skate community that is inclusive of all identities and skill levels, particularly given the ostracization — like racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia — that some populations of skaters have historically experienced,” Yared said. “Ashley and I wanted to disrupt this toxic skate culture that existed long before we were ever skaters and contribute instead to the more affirming skate culture we’ve noticed beginning to take shape nationwide by encouraging skaters of marginalized identities to begin and continue skating and by really focusing on fostering the social aspect of skating.”
Huang shared what she hopes the “SwatSkatesxCrumb” collaboration will contribute to the community.
“I’m really looking forward to more students learning about SwatSkates — it’s great to get our name out there and hopefully acquire some new members! Obviously I’m excited about the food specials as well,” Huang said.
The skaters too are excited about the collaboration. SwatSkates usually meets twice per week, specifically on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. at the traffic circle outside of Singer Hall. Skating indoors will be a change of scenery, roller skater Juna Saito ’25 explained, and she is looking forward to skating around Sharples.
“I cannot wait to get to wear skates in Sharples … wearing skates inside always feels like I’m doing something wrong. I’m always scared I’m going to get yelled at, so having permission to do so is fantastic,” Saito said.
Saito found out about the collaboration from Yared, who reached out to SwatSkates members about serving dishes at Crumb Cafe for the night. Saito explained how she first heard about the event and what the training for skaters will look like.
“Feven reached out to me individually because she knows that I skate. I’m guessing she knows that I’m at a level of skating where I’d be comfortable moving around tight spaces indoors without hurting myself or others. I wanted to do it because I haven’t skated a bit because of the wet weather and big homework load,” Saito shared. “I am showing up at 8 p.m. on 4/20 for training and to test skating around a bit to make sure I don’t fall over.”
In an interview with The Phoenix, Isabela Ibrahim ’25, a regular at Crumb Cafe, expressed her thoughts on the event, which she explained will bring a change-of-scenery to Crumb.
“I like the idea but it just might be a little dangerous. I don’t want my Caprese sandwich flying around,” she said. “I really want to see it happen, though, because I’ve never seen people skating around Sharples before.”
Crumb Cafe will be open for its normal 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. hours for the event. In the future, SwatSkates and Crumb Cafe hope to make their collaboration a regular occurrence.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing people who are just as excited about skating and celebrating skating as I am come out to support SwatSkates, especially if they’re new skating and/or want to learn more about SwatSkates! Building a wholesome Swat skate culture outside of official skate meet-ups is something that we value and definitely want to do more of, and I see collaborating with Crumb as a natural next step in doing just that,” said Yared.
Gidon Kaminer contributed reporting.