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Google employee delivers free grilled cheese to dorms

SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily

A new late night dining option is the talk of the town, with freshly made grilled cheese sandwiches being handed out—preceded only by announcements from the Twitter handle @gcGrillaz—every Thursday evening this quarter in a series of dorms.

Michael Rennaker, the man behind GC Grillaz, is a Google employee and a member of C3 Silicon Valley Church. Having met a number of current Stanford students through the latter affiliation, he leveraged those relationships to bring GC Grillaz to Crothers and Kimball. As word of the service spread however, other Stanford students expressed interest in bringing Rennaker—who said that he funds GC Grillaz in its entirety through his own means—to their residences.

“It’s just cool to see how happy people are,” Rennaker, who visited Branner last Thursday, said. “I want to spread love and happiness—that’s what it’s all about. I want everyone to know that people care.”

Rennaker framed the service’s creation as stemming from memories of his brother—a former Wilbur resident assistant (RA)—making grilled cheese sandwiches for his residents. Rennaker said that he recalls “seeing the strong community” fostered by his brother, particularly amongst students that were visibly stressed out through “working so hard and focused on their studies.”

“At Stanford, there’s so much pressure in such a competitive environment, but there’s something special about bringing people together to just hang out,” he said.

Students in attendance in Branner on Thursday expressed gratitude for the service.

“I thought it was pretty cool—everyone likes sandwiches,” said Osama El-Gabalawy ’15, a Branner RA. “I think most people were there for the food, so it was a noble effort to build community.”

Marathon coders and late-night thesis writers expressed particular appreciation, with one Branner resident approaching Rennaker and yelling, “What is this unprovoked benevolence?”

Meanwhile, an unusually crowded Branner lounge seemed to validate Rennaker’s efforts on its own.

“I gave sandwiches to two people who lived two doors away from each other and had just met!” he said proudly.

Rennaker said that he plans to visit West Lag this week and wants to continue delivering grilled cheese sandwiches—and bringing students together—for the rest of the year.


Contact Tiffany Lam at tlam28 ‘at’ stanford ‘dot’ edu.