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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

EcoGrounds café celebrates its grand opening

Published: October 5, 2012
Section: Featured, News

EcoGrounds, the new Library coffee shop, celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and party after a week of serving coffee and pastries to eager library-goers.

Located in the Goldfarb Library’s Green Room, EcoGrounds is an expansion of Java City, the coffee shop hidden inside the Heller School. EcoGrounds is a brand of coffee bought through fair trade, which ensures environmentally friendly practices, fair pay and sustainable agriculture.

Students came to the café to celebrate at lunch hour, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. A cake and complimentary coffee and pastries were served, and there was a free raffle to win a package of coffees and teas worth $140. For some students, who just discovered that the café was open, it was their first visit.

Erin Fletcher, marketing manager for Aramark at Brandeis, emphasizes the convenience of the café as a place to “break up study time and take care of all your food needs in one convenient location.”

Students may like EcoGrounds because it caters to people underserved by the menu at Einstein’s: those who do not drink coffee. EcoGrounds offers hot chocolate, apple cider, smoothies and coffee-based or cream-based Javalanches—their version of the popular Frappuccino blended drinks sold at Starbucks, in addition to hot and iced coffees.

In the week since it opened, students have formed positive opinions of the café. On the three poster boards where people can write their impressions of the food and service, comments have been mostly positive. Some praised the variety of options, the friendliness of the employees, and its central location in what students call “the green room,” a place known for loud study groups.

“It’s nice and very convenient to come here on breaks from work, if you work in the library,” Ellyn Sherman ’14 said. “Although it’s definitely more of a place to socialize than a place to study.”

“The service is very fast and the lines are so much shorter than Einstein’s,” Shelley Barber GRAD said. “At Einstein’s, it gets very congested because people want their bagels. In the morning and at lunch hour, we have to wait 30 minutes!”

Still, some people like David Handler ’14 worry that study space will be lost to the vibrant coffeehouse social environment.

“I used to come to this corner of the library as a quiet study place, and now it’s much louder and more crowded,” Handler said.

Others wrote that the café should open earlier on weekends and stay open later. Fletcher said that they plan to stay open past midnight, possibly even 24 hours a day during finals week.