Last week, CuraCoffee disappeared from the beverage counter in the PLNU Dining Hall and was replaced by Sodexo’s affiliated coffee brand, Aspretto. A large sign above the tea and coffee station announced the new brew’s arrival, but did not explain why CuraCoffee had been removed in the first place. Tim Fessler, general manager of the cafeteria, said that Aspretto coffee is a temporary substitution for CuraCoffee.
CuraCoffee is “going through a vendor screening process with Sodexo to satisfy certain vendor requirements,” Fessler told The Point via email. “Once they meet those requirements, they will have the ability to return as the vendor for the dining hall coffee.” Fessler did not respond to The Point when asked what those vendor requirements entailed, or how long that process might take.
CuraCoffee is a non-profit that sources their beans directly from rural Nicaraguan farms, pays the farmers fair trade prices and funds dental care for their communities. Thomas Fitzpatrick, founder of CuraCoffee and PLNU alumnus, spoke about his mission in chapel last year. Sodexo has supported the charity by serving CuraCoffee in the cafeteria.
“They have a great program and we wish them success,” Fessler said. “In the meantime, the Aspretto program provides fair trade coffee with funds going toward the Sodexo stop hunger program.”
Several PLNU students have expressed mixed feelings about the cafeteria’s coffee swap.
Lauren Ferguson, junior education major, said she enjoyed Aspretto more than CuraCoffee.
“I tried the french vanilla one, and I thought it was drinkable,” Ferguson said. She said she doesn’t plan on drinking CuraCoffee once it returns to the dining hall.
Blake Buchanan, sophomore managerial and organizational communications major, noticed the new company right away. When he saw Aspretto’s logos on the coffee dispensers, he said he wondered what had caused the switch.
“I was very satisfied with [CuraCoffee] and I don’t know why they changed it,” Buchanan said. Prior to learning the reason behind the Aspretto takeover, he said he felt “sad because it just seemed like a cop out for Sodexo—like it would be easier or more budget efficient for them.”
Buchanan said he wished he had known that the vendor screening process was the reason CuraCoffee disappeared from the dining hall, and was glad Sodexo planned to continue serving their coffee after the screening process is over.
Written By: Lauren O’Brien