By Brianna LeCours, Staff Writer
University of Maine at Farmington’s (UMF) Mantor Library has many new additions this fall, including a coffee bar that is open to students, staff, and the community. UMF President Kathryn Foster sent out an invitation to students and faculty to celebrate the grand opening, offering to pay for the first drink for anyone who attended the event on Sept. 19th. It has been Foster’s hope to have more student-run facilities on campus, and this is just the beginning. The university collaborated with Aramark, the company that provides dining services, to make the idea for the coffee bar a reality.
Currently the coffee bar is run by Aramark employees, however professors from several disciplines, including business and economics, will be working alongside the administration and Ararmark to develop the organization and give students the opportunity to gain real world experience in operating a business. “It was spawned by President Foster’s interest in having a student- run business on campus. Eventually it will morph into meeting with the business and economics professors to identify students and learning the financial side of it,” said Dining Services Director Andrew Hutchins.
The coffee bar is open Monday through Friday. It offers espresso beverages, as well as smoothies, pastries, juices, yogurt, fruit and coffee supplied by Coffee by Design, a fair-trade supplier based in Portland. “We chose Coffee by Design,” said Hutchins. “We put a lot of thought into it. We did a survey last Spring and found that the most important aspect was that the coffee was local, fair trade, and from a direct source. We made it happen.”
UMF junior Katie Flanders believes that the coffee bar is in a good location. “Some people have been wondering why it isn’t next to the snack bar in that open room where the bookstore used to be. They’ve been saying that would have been a good place for it,” said Flanders. “I personally think it’s good where it is because it’s in the middle of campus where you can choose to stay and do homework or quickly get coffee and leave to go to class.”
“Hopefully the future of the coffee bar will be a positive one,” said Hutchins. “We’re always looking for comments and feedback, whether they be positive or negative.”