“We focus on what works best and what can be enjoyed the most,” says marketing manager Bergantino clarifies. “The SOU Dining Service will continue to evolve, with some changes being more obvious than others.”
Southern Oregon University is the second Ashland location for The Human Bean which had its grand opening at the Hannon Library this past Tuesday. The first Human Bean coffee stand opened in 1998 in Ashland at Exit 19, while their home office is set up in Medford.
For students and faculty at SOU, getting the next meal can come from a variety of different places. This includes The Hawk and The Landing located in the Dining Commons area. On the other side of campus is the Stevenson Union, where dining options include Elmo’s and Java Union.
Collaboration between SOU and The Human Bean began after it became apparent that people on campus wanted more variety in their dining experience – more specifically coffee options. This feedback coming from a survey that was distributed among students and staff by SOU Dining Services back in January.
“SOU Dining Services is always looking for ways to change and improve the dining experience here at SOU,” says Bergantino.
At The Hawk, guests are able to enjoy a variety of foods for vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Next door is The Landing, which offers a wide variety of sandwiches, salads and snacks among a large selection of beverages, chips, candy, and groceries. It’s also where the Starbucks program, We Proudly Serve Starbucks, is located.
Elmo’s features a wide assortment of dishes such as Stack Burger, Chilaca, and Noodle Bowl as well as a partnership with Erbert and Gerbert’s while also offering a place for socializing and relaxation for students, faculty and staff in between classes. While made to order coffee specialties, Good To Go items (salads, sandwiches, wraps), freshly baked pastries, and much more are being offered at Java Union.
According to SOU Student Affairs, in an email they sent to the campus community, The Human Bean is already proven to be a great partner with SOU. Also students and faculty have responded positively towards the new addition at the library.
“It’s a delicious experience,” shares Josephine Farley, who’s a student and works at SOU. Farley also says that placing another coffee station on campus allows for people to choose where they want to get their coffee. “Not everyone would want to walk all the way to The Hawk or to the library, that’s why having different locations gives them the chance to choose.”
While some might think the multiple coffee shops located on campus would compete with one another, the exact opposite seems to be true. The majority doesn’t seem to care who serves the best frappuccino or cappuccino, instead they care about where’s the closest place they can get a warm (or cold) beverage.
Location is possibly the most important factor in this equation. It doesn’t seem to matter to the consumer where they get their coffee from, so long as the quality is decent and the site is accessible.
The SOU Dining Service is just the latest among organizations to quench to big thirst for more coffee in the Pacific Northwest.