Students urge QU to open coffee house

Caffeine kick

By Chloe Nott

Quincy University students and staff craving a coffee have to drive off campus to grab their favorite drink. Unless these individuals have access to a personal coffee machine, getting that boost of caffeine requires finding extra time in the day to go somewhere that can fulfill that need. Having a coffee bar or cafe on campus would provide an opportunity to grab that freshly made espresso without jumping in the car. 

There is no current on-campus option to purchase specialty made drinks. The main campus Caf does have a selection of “on-the-go” food and beverages on offer. However, a new space could offer modern food and espresso beverages at college student prices. This space could also provide a relaxed, cozy environment where customers could re-energize between classes. 

The idea to create an on-campus space where QU students, faculty, and staff could meet, relax, study, or simply get a drink and snack to go has received positive feedback. Although in its initial creative stage, a strategic plan would allow the space to be financially beneficial to the university, as well as to its target consumers. 

QU junior Kaylee Imming thought a cafe on campus would be very popular. She is a regular coffee drinker and said there is definitely a need for a cafe. 

“I could get more than just coffee there. I could get espresso which would be sweet and save me a trip from having to go to Starbucks or Dunkin,” Imming said. 

A study published by Elsevier showed that over 90 percent of U.S. college students consume caffeine. Reasons for consumption included to feel awake, enjoy the taste, the social aspects of consumption, improve concentration, increase physical energy, improve mood, and alleviate stress. 

QU student Kyra Humbert has coffee at least twice a day. Humbert has to either make coffee in her dorm room, or rely on friends going somewhere as she does not own a car. 

“I would for sure go to a cafe if there was one,” Humbert said.

QU associate professor of communication Dr. Barbara Schleppenbach, Ph.D., another daily coffee drinker, thinks a cafe would be very successful. 

“It would get me, that’s for sure,” Schleppenbach said. 

Schleppenbach mentioned having a cafe would not only satisfy customers’ coffee needs, but also their social needs. She also thought people would like to have the convenience of it. 

A new cafe would mean a number of upfront and ongoing costs to create the space and keep it running. Initial costs would include design and construction of the space including the purchase of necessary machines and kitchen equipment. Ongoing costs would include staffing, packaging, and food and drink items.

One option to offset costs include service learning opportunities during the construction period, and student staffing to help run the cafe. Input from students and staff throughout the planning process would also be greatly encouraged. 

The next stage of planning for a new cafe will include research and development. Options for the location of the new cafe include the area below Brenner library by the QUEST center, which previously housed a yogurt shop, or with the bookstore under the Cafe. Working with Chartwells Dining Services to create the cafe would allow QU to set appropriate prices and allow students to use flex dollars.

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