By Kelsi Peace, Staff Writer
With the opening of the new Starbucks in the Learning Commons, many thought The Den would face hardships as students stopped buying Java City coffee in favor of Starbucks.
Anthony Williams, director of retail and purchasing, said although the Starbucks “certainly has some effect on Java City,” sales have not decreased as much as expected.
Williams also said among the 30-40 students he has spoken to about Starbucks, most have expressed a “high level of satisfaction” with the facility.
“Starbucks is doing better than what we forecasted,” Williams said.
Williams said he is meeting weekly with his staff to determine how to improve both the Java City and the Starbucks.
The Starbucks in the Learning Commons is at the “Proudly Brew” level, which means while the coffee being served is Starbucks, some products, such as the cold beverages, are not the Starbucks brand.
However, Williams said, managers have “been pursuing” a full license, and hope to achieve it during the summer.
Williams said the prestige and image associated with Starbucks would improve the facility in the Learning Commons. Student feedback has supported this idea, he said.
Starbucks and Java City, Williams said, are “both important because they fit different needs.”
Joseph Lawrence, freshman biology major from Atlanta, said Java City has a “cool atmosphere.”
Jaida Brown, sophomore biology major from Hartley, said she has only been to the Starbucks once. Brown said she goes to Java City instead, “mostly for convenience – it’s closer.”
Danielle Besch, freshman youth and family ministry major from Wharton, said she prefers Starbucks.
“It’s easier to come [to Starbucks] over Java City,” Besch said.
But Besch said she goes to Java City when the Learning Commons is closed.
Josh Ross, a graduate student from Abilene, said he has only been to the Learning Commons twice, and has never been to Java City.
Ross said he appreciates the location because he needs to come to the library to study or research anyway.
“I wish this would have been here seven years ago,” Ross said.
Java City offers a more “intimate” environment, Williams said. It was “designed to help us do the things we want to do with creating community,” Williams said, which is why The Den is located in Barret.
Williams said the goal for Java City is to maintain the intimate atmosphere. The university also has more leeway with Java City, and is considering adding new baked products, which will be unique to the coffee shop.
Williams said ACU offers a good amount of food services for a university its size.
“We want to not just meet the needs of our students,” he said, “but exceed them.”