Last month, Simon Fraser University got its first Starbucks on their Burnaby campus. UBC has five. But before we start mocking SFU for yet another example of university inferiority, SFU’s has something to boot.
According the SFU’s The Peak, they are the first Starbucks in Canada to offer not only fair trade coffee, but fair trade handcrafted espresso drinks, which includes frappucinos, lattes, cappuccinos and more. SFU apparently negotiated with Starbucks for two years for the coffee chain to accept SFU’s terms, which could be the reason why it took so long for them to open. SFU ancillary services director Mark McLaughlin said they would continue offering fair trade options only if it sells well.
In 2012 SFU mandated that all coffee shops must provide a fair-trade option. The current Tim Hortons that they have is exempt from this rule.
Things of note about the SFU Starbucks:
- 1,900 square foot space.
- able to sit 80 people inside and 25 people on their patio.
- open until midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
- a wall dedicated for fine arts students to paint murals on.
UBC boasts five Starbucks on or within walking distance of campus — the SUB, University Village, Kaiser building, the one on Agronomy and the Bookstore, which sells Starbucks coffee — but are we sacrificing quality over quantity?
What we have:
- three of our Starbucks are more like little outlets nested inside a UBC building rather than an actual store (Agronomy, Village).
- the latest it is opened until is 10:30 p.m. (Agronomy, Village)
- normal walls
And we currently only offer fair trade coffee, not handcrafted espresso drinks.
Then again, we have way more caffeine options than SFU. There are many smaller coffee shops (The Boulevard, Great Dane, etc.) littered around the periphery of the campus, whereas if you’re going up the mountain to SFU Burnaby, you’re kind of stuck with the choices you have there unless you take the bus down.
As a gold-card carrying, elite patron of Starbucks, I think that the UBC’s Starbucks are more about convenience than fulfilling an actual Starbucks experience. But then again, does one really need a complete Starbucks experience? Is that just one of those extremely yuppie Yaletown things to say?