The recently opened coffee bar at Goodrich and Mission Park’s new pizza cafe have provoked mixed responses among local business owners concerned about competition from the College.
The owners of Colonial Pizza and Hot Tomatoes said they doubt the new offerings will disturb their businesses, but the owner of Cold Springs coffee was slightly more ambivalent in his response.
“I’m indifferent about it,” said the coffee shop’s owner Paul Lovegreen.
However, Lovegreen said he is pleased that Goodrich will be able to provide a night time coffee house to the college community.
“I think it is a great thing that there will be a night time coffee house,” he said. “I wish them good luck and it nice thing to have. My establishment couldn’t do what is being done.”
Lovegreen noted that he simply doesn’t have the resources or staff to expand the hours of Cold Spring into the night.
According to Goodrich Supply Manager Kim Zelnick ’00, the coffee bar will be open from 8 until 11 a.m. and will reopen from 8 p.m. until midnight.
Zelnick said students consulted with local businesses in the various stages of the four-year planning process for the bar.
“We realized this would detract from community business, so we tried to patronize local business,” she said.
Although Cold Springs will not be selling its products at Goodrich, baked goods from Clarksburg and Lickety Split will be introduced to the coffee bar’s full menu later in the semester.
Lovegreen declined to go into specifics as to why he decided not to sell his products at Goodrich.
Zelnick said she believes the differences between Goodrich and Cold Springs will allow them to co-exist.
“Goodrich is designed as a student center, a student space,” she said. “It’s an alternative to Cold Springs. It has a very different atmosphere, so we don’t feel we’ll be taking his clientele.”
Zelnick also added that the prices at Goodrich will be higher than those at Cold Springs and the hours are different.
“Our hours will expand as we’re able to hire more people and get a feel for what the clientele is like,” she said. The Goodrich student managers currently estimate 300 customers per day.
Becky Kummer ’00 said she will be one of them. “I’ll probably use the coffee bar,” Kummer said. “I think having Goodrich open late at night is when they’ll get most business,” she said.
Shawn Boburg ’00, a frequent customer of Cold Springs, said he will frequent both coffee shops: “Basically, I’ll probably go to Cold Springs during the day, and if I want coffee at night, I’ll go to Goodrich.” Boburg said each has its advantages. “I like sitting in that window at Cold Springs and watching people walk by,” he said. “I would like to go to Goodrich late at night and do a little reading,” he added.
Another Cold Springs regular, Erin Gately ’99, said she probably will not change her allegiance. “I don’t think I’ll go to Goodrich as regularly as Cold Springs, just because Cold Springs is closer to where I live, but I’m very interested in seeing how Goodrich works out,” Gately said. “I may come and just love it, but I know that Cold Springs is quiet so I can go there and do my reading.”
Starting Sunday, students also face a choice between off-campus and on-campus options for another culinary delight: pizza.
Local pizza places were not consulted about the Mission Pizza cafÃ©, but Associate Director for Operations of Dining Services Alexandre da Silva said the cafÃ© actually responds to a void in local business.
“Spring Street no longer has Colonial. I had two customers asking me this semester, ‘What other options do we have now that our options downtown are lost?’” da Silva said. “We have seen a weak market. We are proud to offer this service.”
Although Colonial Pizza has relocated to Colonial Plaza on Route 2, owner Constantine Anagnos said he will re-open on Spring Street when the new building is finished. For now, Anagnos said he is not worried about the competition from Mission.
“I’m in the business many years. For me, if the College puts pizza over there or not, they don’t bother me at all,” Anagnos said. “Before, they had pizza at the Log. They didn’t go; they all came to me. Nobody can make a pizza like me. I have a big name and a big reputation in the area.”
Ed Joy, the assistant manager of Hot Tomatoes Pizza, echoed Anagnos’ comments.
“Hot Tomatoes is one-of-a-kind pizza, so I don’t think it will affect anything,” he said.
The cafÃ© is the result of student requests for more on-campus dining options.
“The Dining Services decided to start this program based on inquiries of years past. The community asked for other options besides the snack bar,” da Silva said. He added that the snack bar was overloaded with customers in the later hours.
da Silva estimates that approximately 100 students per day will use the cafÃ©. “I think it will have a strong following at first just because it’s something new and different during these hours. During second semester, we’ll definitely see a drop,” he predicted.
Student responses indicate that location is a downside to Mission pizza.
“I’d probably be more likely to come over to the snack bar than go down to Mission,” said Kummer. Even Mission residents were not overly excited. Mission resident Ellie Carothers ’01 commented, “I’m on the 10 meal plan, but I probably wouldn’t use it anyway.”
But Sebastien Bradley ’02 said he would make the trek for Mission pizza: “I’d definitely do pizza in Mission. It’s kind of a long walk to Mission, but I’d probably go instead of ordering because I’m cheap.”