In an effort to respond to feedback from students regarding Mocha Joe’s, AU Food Services has announced that Chartwells will assume the role of managing the coffee shop next year. As a result, Mocha’s will also accept Raven Dollars as a method of payment.
Dana Stuart sent an email to the student body outlining the student meal plan options for the 2017-18 school year. This email addressed changes in the meal plans, such as increasing the amount of meal plan options from three to four, reformatting the way that meal plans are used and also the news of Mocha Joe’s new operational management next year.
Libby Durbin, student manager of Mocha Joes, said of the change: “I can’t really speak to the decision-making, but the negotiations set very clear terms and expectations for AUFS in order to oversee Mochas.”
Mocha Joe’s is a setting that has long offered students a place to study, visit with friends or enjoy a cup of coffee while doing one or both of those things, too. The coffee shop is a place that is a part of many students’ days and routines, and it’s a quiet and relaxing place utilized by many students.
Despite this large change for the coffee shop, Durbin said that the process has been smooth and largely credits AUFS for this being the case. “AUFS has made an effort to facilitate a seamless change, so I have been in communication with the director in order to stabilize the turnover,” she said.
New management obviously comes with change, but Durbin believes that Mocha Joe’s will still remain largely the same at its core. “The university was very thorough in order to assure the best elements of Mocha Joe’s were still there,” she said.
“Mocha’s will still look a lot like it does now. It will be completely student-run and still have a lot of the same drinks everyone loves,” Durbin said.
“There might be a change in providers, and there might be some additions to the menu. The biggest change is that people will be able to use their meal plan in Mocha’s, which will be a very exciting addition.”
Darby Guard, a junior nursing major and Mocha Joe’s barista, said though it is a change in management, that doesn’t mean it’s also a change in employees—which is reassuring for both her and the other student employees.
“I know that the students are still going to staff behind the bar and the manager positions,” she said. “The only big change is the take over of Chartwells for the operations and behind the scenes kind of work.”
Guard, like Durbin, believes that this will ultimately be a good change for Mocha Joe’s.
“I think that this change will be a positive,” Guard said. “It will just be something that the current employees of Mocha Joe’s will have to adjust to and be open minded about.”
“The Chartwells employees are doing a great job of keeping the baristas informed and in the loop of the changes,” Guard continued. “They want and value our input and opinions on some of the changes and we are all happy about that. The Chartwells employees want to see Mocha’s succeed more than anyone so they are going to do everything they can to keep Mocha’s the same and possibly even better.”
Though Chartwells will be managing and operating the coffee shop, the company has shown that they value the current employees’ ideas on what is working now and also what they would like to see changed for the future.
“The Mocha Joe’s staff had a meeting with some of the people heading the change for next year, and they listened to what we wanted to see stay the same but also some changes that we have in mind that could be good,” Guard said.
In closing, Durbin said, “Ultimately, Mocha Joe’s is a service for the students so this is an exciting change for us because it means that more students will get to enjoy Mocha’s.”