Holy frappe!

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Pacific considers the closure of campus Starbucks

   Back when I had a meal plan, Starbucks occupied a large part of my Boxer Bucks budget:  A hot grande mocha (or, holiday season, a peppermint mocha), and scooch my butt to the banquette couch on the far wall and slurp away my moods. It was a beautiful experience.

   That Starbucks experience, however, may be ending; not just for me, but for Pacific. That is (breaking news!) Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Sarah Phillips is proposing to replace the Starbucks with a coffee joint run by Bon Appetit.

   But before you light up your torches and storm the Marsh Hall (latte in hand, of course), consider the reasons why: 

   First: “It is very, very expensive to have a Starbucks on campus,” Phillips explained in an interview with The Pacific Index. “It is also very limited in what we can do with it.”

   Second: Part of the university’s contract with Starbucks lays out restrictive rules. “Our Starbucks contract includes that we have to look like a Starbucks,” explains Phillips, adding that they would like to remodel, and to do so in not-so-inexpensive way. “I don’t want to put my money into remodeling Starbucks,” adds Phillips. “I want to put my money into things that students need.” 

   Third: Another clause of the contract requires at least five employees at the Starbucks at all times; even if there aren’t any customers. “During the summer months, for example, we lose tens of thousands of dollars a month on Starbucks,” claims Phillips. “It’s a financial loss.”

   Next question: If Bon Appetit replaces Starbucks next year, what to expect? 

   “I went around to all the schools around the area and looked at their coffee shops,” Phillips says. “Some of them are pretty fun, right? I would love to see our students’ artwork hanging in there. I’d like them to have readings at night. I’d like to have trivia nights; all these things that we can’t do right now.” She adds, “I would love to hear from students say, like, ‘hey, here would be my fancy,’ right? ‘Here are the kinds of things I would like to have.’”

   Phillips adds that she also wants to partner with local companies such as Bull Run Cider and Ridgewalker Brewing to serve drinks, and would like to add bubble tea. (With this proposal, she also suggested the possibility of adding new fermentation classes that teach students how to brew beer or make cider, potentially including tours of Bull Run Cider’s local orchard.)

   But, finally, one thing won’t change: “Bon Appetit can serve Starbucks drinks,” Phillips says. “That’s what some of the schools around us do through the Starbucks’ ‘we proudly serve’ program. That’s them serving Starbucks coffee without being a Starbucks franchise.” — Aaron Meeuwsen


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