Starbucks selected as new coffee vendor

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

With all the changes construction is bringing to Madison College food services, there is one change that is not construction related. Starbucks Coffee will now be featured in the coffee shop on the first floor, next to a new ice cream shop.

Starbucks is replacing the Steep and Brew Coffee that used to be in the second floor café. The Starbucks coffee shop will be open to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., serving all the company’s signature drinks.

“Our beverage menu will be exactly the same as the Starbucks down the street. Same options, same prices, same recipes,” said Terrie Thorstad, Director of Auxiliary Services.

Also in the Gateway Café (on the second floor) there will be a self-serve grab-and-go coffee and snack option featuring Seattle’s Best Coffee Company.

“(There was) lots of pressure from students wanting a better quality of coffee,” said Thorstad. “Based on market research, we will sell a lot of it.”

She anticipates a 30 percent increase in coffee revenue due to the vendor change.

One thing that will not change is that students who work in the café will be working for Madison College, not actual Starbucks employees.

“It’s our own employees running it. They (Starbucks) provide a lot of the equipment, they train our employees,” states Thorstad. 

“We’re not a franchise, which means that Starbucks App and gift cards will not be able to be used at our venue. However, in the fall we will have our own gift cards and mobile app,” said Thorstad.

So far, Thorstad said she has “gotten a lot of positive reaction” to the change.

But a few people have expressed concerns. Some students have said they would prefer a local coffee shop. Others worry that prices for coffee will go up.

“I think the biggest issue is the price. Prices will go up for all of the drinks,” said Kim Michal, a Madison College student. “I think that the school should keep in mind that students can’t afford for-profit prices for food.”

Prices are not just the issue either; having a local coffee shop would benefit the community.  

“As far as local companies go, they tend to be a better choice because any profit they would make is invested back into Madison proper, allowing Madison College to reinvigorate our city,” said Michal.

Some other changes students will notice immediately are that the coffee shop hours have been extended and there is extra seating, with a counter and barstools available for a study space or a place to eat.