Campus coffee shops offer blend of goods

University java joints provide unique services to thirsty students, faculty.

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A barista prepares a drink at Archives Coffee House. Photo by Ethan Arlien/The Dakota Student.

Three coffee shops compete for student business on campus, each offering a blend of atmosphere, deals and quality.

Stomping Grounds at UPlace specializes in subs and paninis, Archives focuses on quality beans and artisan style and Stomping Grounds in the Union is a traditional grab-and-go shop. The stores differ in terms of atmosphere and drink deals, but they all rely on students for much of their business.

Stomping Grounds at UPlace has been open since 2007 and recently changed its coffee brand.

“We just became Starbucks last August; before that we served Seattle’s Best,” Manager Cindy Pariseau said.

Stomping Grounds provides a variety of drinks and foods along with housing a C-Store.

“We serve subs, we serve soup, we have paninis we make,” Pariseau said. “We have all our blended drinks. Fresh fruit smoothies are a big thing over here.”

Pariseau sees a balance between Dining Dollars and cash used to purchase items. In terms of menu cost, Pariseau doesn’t know if they’re the cheapest.

“I’ve been told that some of our drinks are cheaper than the other Stomping Grounds — I don’t control that.”

Supervisor and Manager Nancy Garcia believes Stomping Grounds in the Union is a well rounded coffee shop. They provide coffee, a few lunch items and other beverages.

“We have the coffee-based drinks, either cold or hot, and then bakery items,” she said. “It’s more tailored around maybe a true coffee shop, kind of a grab-and-go.”

Stomping Grounds in the Union is nearing its 10th anniversary at UND.

Archives is privately owned by Rachel Evenson Kopp and has been on campus since July of 2008. It provides similar bakery and lunch foods as Stomping Grounds in the Union, but Evenson Kopp takes pride in the various blends of teas and coffee.

“We only sell Arabica beans, which is the highest quality bean,” Evenson Kopp said. “We train our baristas with the Italian standard of barista making, so they become artisans. They learn how to read coffee beans and know coffee beans.”

Evenson Kopp said 90 percent of her customers are students, so she  must orient her business plan to follow the academic calendar.

“When we’re busy, I can almost guarantee you there’s a lot of  group projects that are due and there’s a lot of testing going on,” she said. “I wish I could say we’re more social. But I think what the students have found is a marriage of social and studying. Students come here and find a little bit of socializing and they don’t feel quite so bad about having to study for hours for a test.”

Atmosphere

The atmospheres of these coffee shops are key to drawing in students.

Garcia acknowledges the hustle and bustle of college life and believes Union Stomping Grounds caters to it.

“It’s very busy, very happy and very service orientated. Our goal is to get the customer in and get them out quickly,” Garcia said. “We realize maybe they have to be to class in maybe five or ten minutes, and they just want to hurry and go. So our job is to make it as quickly, efficiently and pleasantly as possible. That’s our whole philosophy.”

For Evenson Kopp, the atmosphere in Archives hits a more personal spot.

“Our daughter had moved out of state … and she had problems finding a place on campus that was welcoming,” Evenson Kopp said. “So that’s actually what inspired me. We wanted kind of a hometown feel — ‘Mom and Pop’ coffee house type of things.”

Pariseau said UPlace Stomping Grounds has its busy moments, but for the most part is low key.

“We don’t catch a lot of people, because it’s not a very busy building,” she said. “We are going to be slower, but I think, all in all, we try to get things going.”

Best coffee

The shops provide little incentives and deals for students, but both Stomping Grounds locations provide a free coffee refill if the receipt and cup are brought back.

Archives provides a frequent buyer card for students.

“If someone buys nine cups of coffee, they get the 10th one free,” Evenson Kopp said.

Evenson Kopp thinks it’s a personal choice as to who has the best coffee, but ensures Archives makes the best coffee they can.

Pariseau without hesitation believes the UPlace Stomping Grounds has the best coffee.

“Oh yeah — Starbucks,” she said.

Garcia points out that UPlace and Memorial Union Stomping Grounds shops share something in common.

“I think we do have better coffee,” she said. “Ironically, Seattle’s Best is owned by Starbucks, so they’re under the same umbrella, as far as coffee is.”

Paula Kaledzi is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at paula.kaledzi@my.und.edu.

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