Coffee is great. We all love coffee here. You don’t stay up three days straight during midterms week being indifferent to coffee. With that in mind, let’s talk about the companies that give us our caffeine fix here at Drexel. Our Saxby’s coffee shop is at 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue, and the franchise is operated by Drexel co-ops. We wrote about it in back in April when it opened. It’s a popular venue where students congregate at the notorious second-most caffeinated campus in America—a title Business Insider generously awarded our twitching student body. (The first? University of Pennsylvania. We’ll catch up eventually guys, we just have to guzzle faster.)
In addition to Saxby’s, us Drexel students also have a plethora of additional coffee shops: the Starbucks in Gerri C. LeBow Hall, Joe at Chestnut Square, the other Starbucks at 34th and Chestnut, ThirtyOne 41 in the Main Building, and the other, other Starbucks at 34th and Walnut. (Protip: It’s frequently less crowded than the other 34th and Chestnut Starbucks.)
Presumably in an attempt to keep the ratio of Starbucks to non-Starbucks coffee shops on or near campus at a nice 1:1 ratio, a new Starbucks is opening in Drexel’s newest University-affiliated building, the Summit. This new Starbucks will be directly across the street from the existing student-run Saxby’s. Shafted.
Ordinarily, we here at the Editorial Board would be welcoming a new coffee shop on campus and likely bemoaning the lack of easily accessible coffee near our offices, since we have to trek a whopping 400 feet to Joe each time we’re in danger of fainting from exhaustion. If your caffeine addiction is as prominent and concerning as ours, all that trekking can add up fast. Heck, it might get to several miles and account for hundreds of feet of elevation change a day.
Anyway, we have to ask: why does this new Starbucks have to open directly across the street from the student-run Saxbys? Its location means it’s directly competing for Saxby’s customers and, because it’s in a university building, it will no doubt attract similar clientele. Our student-run Saxby’s is something unique— a franchise run for the purpose of education. Total Trump move to stick a multi-billion dollar franchise across the street, right?
Which brings us to our second qualm with this new Starbucks: do we actually need another Starbucks? Our non-Starbucks options are Joe and Saxby’s. ThirtyOne 41 serves Seattle’s Best Coffee, which coincidentally is owned by Starbucks. (Plus, let’s get real, Seattle’s Best is to coffee as Milwaukee’s Best is to beer. Ew.) Sometimes we get a nice coffee truck on campus, like Rival Brothers, but they’re not around every day. There’s also 7-11, whose coffee is questionable, and Wawa, which is perfection in the form of a convenience store, but really far away.
Why not bring in a local franchise? Or an independent coffee shop? (Or a Wawa? Please? Maybe to replace the Subway in Northside?) Our campus undoubtedly needs more caffeine if we’re to claim our rightful spot at the top of Business Insider’s list of most caffeinated campuses. If it could be quality caffeine, locally roasted, fair trade, locally owned and operated, the whole nine yards, it would be even better.
Three Starbuckses (Starbucksii? Starbucksen?) ought to be enough for anyone. Do we really need a fourth? Especially one competing directly with our grand experiment in student-run educational business? Our quivering typing hands think not, but then again we’re due for our midnight cup o’ Joe.