Returning students on campus may notice a different coffee shop in the library this fall. Big City Coffee, a coffee shop local to Boise, has replaced the Starbucks that was once in Albertsons Library.
According to Brian Holzworth, the resident district manager with Boise State’s dining services, the decision to switch from Starbucks came quickly, especially after the coronavirus outbreak, though typically more time would have been taken to make the decision.
“In 2017, Boise State Dining Services hired a consultant to review the Aramark contract we entered into and dive into a more encompassing survey of our students’ wants and needs,” Holzworth wrote in an email. “Students indicated that they prefer local coffee vendors.”
Many coffee shops were considered for the open space, such as Moxie Java, Awakenings and Big City Coffee, but Big City Coffee’s letter of intent moved it to the top of the list, for reasons such as customer base, revenue status, commitment to hiring students and support of local companies.
Other reasons included a loyalty program, willingness to adjust the menu, the availability of Coca-Cola products, community involvement, minimal capital investment and the ability to meet the timeline for opening.
“I reached out to student employees and discussed options for local coffee options to replace Starbucks. The overwhelming response from an all Campus Services meeting was Big City,” Holzworth wrote.
Boise State confirmed their support for Big City Coffee’s opening on June 23.
On Sep. 4, there was a soft opening of Big City Coffee, but no official opening as there are other items to complete before the opening.
For Victoria Mort, a freshman psychology major and a barista at the Big City Coffee location, Big City Coffee feels like home.
“It’s a really cool, very homey kind of environment,” Mort said. “A big difference is that we are local; we originally started on 15th [Street],” Mort said.
According to Mort, Big City Coffee is unique and consumers will not find anything else like it. Mort says the quality is superior to other coffee shops, since the food is homemade and the espresso is hand-poured.
What sets Boise State’s Big City Coffee location apart is that its staff is student-based, making it mostly the same demographic as the customer, according to Mort.
“As an employee, I really like it. The management is great and the learning process is really swift and easy,” Mort said.
For Mort, the food at Big City Coffee is delicious because they use local products and are hand-crafted.
“Everyone is so nice and we make legitimate products by hand,” Mort said.
Big City Coffee on campus is open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The shop is limiting how many people can be in the location at one time.