The School of Business’ cafe is now selling coffee from the local coffee company Gimme! Coffee.
Although Gimme! Coffee is more eco-friendly, Gimme! Coffee’s 12oz. and 16oz. cups of coffee cost over 20 percent more than the equal-sized cups of coffee from Starbucks.
The idea to bring Gimme! Coffee onto campus started during the Fall 2016 semester, when the Student Governance Council passed the Alternative Coffee Bill with the goal of providing coffee from a local and more eco-friendly coffee company. The bill was sponsored by Laura Waxman, former Class of 2019 senator, and juniors Micol Wajskol and Calvin Yohannan, who are eco-reps for the Resource and Environmental Management Program.
According to the bill, buying coffee beans that are locally roasted and packaged would produce a smaller carbon footprint than getting coffee delivered from Starbucks’ distribution center. The closest centers are in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, according to the Starbucks website.
Wajskol and Yohannan then worked with Jeff Scott, director of dining services, to bring Gimme! Coffee onto campus. Scott said that although the Alternative Coffee Bill specifically referred to Gimme! Coffee, both Gimme! Coffee and Ithaca Coffee Company gave proposals to Sodexo to potentially be featured at the college. Eco-reps and the Food Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the SGC, both chose Gimme! Coffee as the better option, Scott said.
Scott said the college and Gimme! Coffee reached an agreement in late spring and the School of Business’ cafe installed the proper equipment over summer break. The dean’s office for the School of Business chose students for a student advisory board, which was created to oversee Gimme! Coffee on campus.
The price per pound of coffee is more than when the cafe served Starbucks Coffee, but the costs of staffing and operating the cafe are very similar, Scott said.
Gimme! Coffee offers three hot sizes: 8 oz., 12 oz. and 16 oz. Starbucks offers three hot sizes: 12 oz., 16 oz. and 20 oz. A medium 12–oz. hot coffee at Gimme! Coffee costs $2.29, and a small 12–oz. hot coffee at Starbucks costs $1.89. A 16–oz. cold brew from Gimme! Coffee costs $3.29, and a 16–oz. cold brew from Starbucks costs $3.19.
Junior Austin Drukker said he does not think the switch to Gimme! Coffee was good, and he thinks Starbucks had better sizes. He said Gimme! Coffee needs to provide larger sizes.
“I get less coffee for, I feel like, a similar price,” Drukker said. “It’s not even much better coffee. It feels like the same stuff.”
Gimme! Coffee CEO Kevin Cuddeback was on campus Aug. 30 to visit the new cafe. He said it was gratifying to have a major corporation such as Sodexo show interest in Gimme! Coffee.
Yohannan said the original goal of bringing Gimme! Coffee onto campus was to have a more sustainable coffee option for students, but as more research and planning was done, he realized bridging the gap between the college campus and the Ithaca community was equally as important.
“Ithaca is a city with rich ideas and entrepreneurs that have created such successful startups and businesses right in Ithaca,” Yohannan said. “I don’t see why we don’t take advantage of that. It will only help us.”
Wajskol said she hopes students realize the importance of supporting local companies instead of giant corporations.
“I think that people should know that when they are supporting Gimme! Coffee, not only are they helping a local business stay alive, they are doing the whole Earth a favor by choosing ethically sourced coffee,” Wajskol said.
Junior Sky Mattioli said it is nice to have a variety of coffee to choose from on campus. Mattioli said she thinks the quality of Gimme! Coffee is better, so she does not mind paying more for Gimme! Coffee.