Calvin College Chimes

Library cafe plans make a latte progress

The new cafe could be selling coffee in time for the spring semester.

The new cafe could be selling coffee in time for the spring semester.

The new cafe could be selling coffee in time for the spring semester.

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Progress on the future library cafe, which will introduce the Peet’s Coffee brand to Calvin’s campus, has been moving along faster than expected. Original plans for the cafe estimated that it would be opened in August of 2019.

“Opening in August of 2019 was the original goal but we actually think we can start building this after exams in December,” said John Witte. “If we could build in January and February and everything went well, we could have an operating coffee shop already during the spring semester.”

Witte, steering committee member and project manager, noted that this will be the first licensed Peet’s Coffee shop in Michigan. It will include Peet’s full menu, which is easily found online and will give a variance to the items found in the current Fish House selections.

Peet’s was chosen from three final contender coffee shops that the committee selected to be interviewed. Members of the committee expressed their enthusiasm for working with Peet’s.

“Their quality of coffee is very high, their business practices and ethics were high and they had a good reputation in the market and on social media,” said Russell Bray, director of the physical plant at Calvin. “They have a strong customer base and want to make sure proper training happens, and that checks are in place to make sure we have a really good product here.”

Bray, also a member of the steering committee, commented on the partnership between Peet’s and Calvin.

“It will be a good combination of being uniquely Peet’s but also uniquely Calvin. It has to fit our architectural aesthetic.”

In terms of progress with the Peet’s contract and partnership, licensing agreements and final stages are being finished right now. Design consultations will need to take place as well. Once those are signed, completed and approved, the actual construction will be able to begin.

The shop will be in the northwest corner on the second floor of the library and the power source will be placed in the corner with seating in the open space next to it.

David Malone, dean of college and seminary library at Calvin, explained why the library is the ideal location for this new addition to Calvin’s campus.

“For many, the library is seen as a repository of books. However, it is more than that,” said Malone. “It is the largest learning lab on Calvin‘s campus and is tasked with serving all students irrespective of their location or program of study. Hekman Library serves as a connector of people, ideas and resources.”

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