As students returned to campus this semester, coffee drinkers might have noticed a new perk: LB’s Café, located in the Center for Innovation and Growth, now serves Starbucks coffee.
Dave Jensen, Director of Food Services at Baldwin Wallace, explained how the new change took effect.
“We had a request from the city [for Starbucks products], actually,” Jensen said. “We only had one month to get something together.”
In addition to the products already sold at LB’s Café, including the bottled and canned Starbucks beverages, students can now purchase any of the four following blends: Veranda Blend, Fair Trade Certified Café Estima Blend, Pike Place Roast and Pike Place Roast Decaffeinated.
According to Jensen, Starbucks makes it a priority to protect their brand consistency. New equipment had to be purchased for use in LB’s Café and employees were required to complete a four-hour training session. Jenson also discussed plans to incorporate more Starbucks products into the LB’s menu in the future.
“If sales keep going up the way we have seen them, it is likely that we will purchase a Starbucks blender so that frappes can be served,” Jenson said.
Students were eager to hear more details on the new Starbucks products and excited that Starbucks drinks could now be purchased using their Jacket Express cards.
Senior Caitlyn Wentz, an avid coffee drinker, said, “I had heard rumors over the summer that BW would have a Starbucks on campus this semester. Although the rumors weren’t exactly true, I was still ecstatic to try the Starbucks products served at LB’s Café.”
Although the rumors of having a Starbucks located on campus were not true for this semester, Jensen explained that this is certainly a possibility for the future.
“Could the Cyber Café be converted to a Starbucks in the future? That’s going to be up to the students,” Jenson said. “My hope is that LB’s could become the Cyber Café of North Campus.”
Currently LB’s Café is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Monday through Thursday evenings from 5-8 p.m.
“If the demand keeps up, we will keep LB’s open longer hours,” Jensen said.
Because of Berea’s large population of college students, the franchise decided to serve their product in an academic building rather than downtown.
While students like the idea of Starbucks drinks sold fresh in an academic building, some feel skeptical about converting one of BW’s cafes into a Starbucks.
Senior Mitch Kuntz said, “One of the perks of attending a small school is the tranquil environment, especially in places like LB’s Café. I would hope that that environment would not be compromised just to have Starbucks on campus.”
Other students, like Wentz, believe that Starbucks will not cause any disturbance to BW student life.
“I’d love to see more friendly faces on campus. Having a Starbucks would do just that. BW is a great place to make connections,” Wentz said.
While the future of BW’s cafés and Starbucks is still uncertain, it is certainly a conversation piece among students and staff, as well as BW Food Services.