The imminent arrival of a Starbucks on campus creates uncertain future for Union Grind.
By Alex Graf
Starbucks is making its way to the Loker Student Union. Campus Dining Services has not yet decided on a location but is aiming for a spring 2019 opening. Union Grind is leaving as a result and may be moved to the library.
“We’re in the debating stages of trying to figure out where it’s going to go,” said Campus Dining Marketing Coordinator, Olympia Woods.
According to Woods, the two potential locations are the old Jamba Juice space or the current location of Cafe 1910.
“[Cafe 1910] is the more preferred space just because it has what Starbucks likes to call the third place brand,” Woods said. “Their dining space, the feel and the vibe that you get with a Starbucks. You can study, you can meet with friends…if we go there we can also put something students prefer in the Jamba Juice space.”
Woods said one concern with Starbucks moving into the existing Café 1910 space is that administrators may lose a spot to get lunch and meet with faculty and donors. And then there is the future of Union Grind with one more coffee shop coming into town.
“Union Grind would go away, but we would be the owners of the Starbucks so we can employ our Union Grind baristas,” Wood said. “We’re thinking of cross-branding and putting Union Grind in the library.”
One possibility would be a new pick-up service in the current Union Grind location.
Among Union Grind workers, there were mixed feelings. Union Grind worker, Kass Torralba expressed anger, and argued a Starbucks at CSUDH is unnecessary since there are already two other Starbucks locations nearby.
“I feel like we’re cheaper and we’re better quality,” Torralba said. “Our regular customers have complained because Starbucks is gonna open and [Union Grind] is more convenient for the students.”
Not all Union Grind workers felt the same way, however.
“It sucks but it’s not as bad as people might think,” said Union Grind Worker Brian Jimenez. “We all work for Campus Dining, so we still have jobs.”