The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Co-op Brews up Tasty, Guilt-Free Cup

The Underground. A place to do homework, drink good organic coffee, smoke cigarettes, and hang out. A good place to chill.
Guilford’s first cooperative coffeeshop, just two months old, has already established itself on campus.

“It’s a place for students to hang out and meet each other,” said junior Ivy McLeod, a ‘co-op enthusiast,’ though not a member. “There’s no real common place for students to go, so they end up staying in their living spaces, and thus don’t get to meet a range of people.”
There’s good coffee at competitive prices, yummy baked goods (cream cheese brownies … mmm), music, and board games. With chai, hot chocolate, or a latte all costing $2.50 or less, life is good.
The Underground is open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and on Sundays from 3 to 9 p.m. “And yes, we will be watching The Simpsons at eight,” Operations Manager James Croonenbergehs said.

In addition to Simpsons viewings, the co-op has also hosted a variety of events and concerts, including poetry readings, local punk shows, open mics, and CD release parties.

But the co-op, successful as a social spot, is struggling financially.
“Monetarily, we’re breaking even,’ said sophomore Zach Smith, one of the co-op’s administrative managers. “We’re not making money, but we’re not losing it either.”

This, however, has not fazed the co-op’s members.
“I’m really proud of how well it’s doing so far,” first-year Fedelma McKenna said. “Setting up a business isn’t easy for anyone. We’re not businessmen; we’re full-time students. It’s a huge endeavor.”
The cooperative, however, is not just a business; it’s a social organization with an agenda of its own.

Co-ops are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who collectively own and run their organization.

“The principle of cooperatives is about building community and involving members of the community. That is the overarching goal,” sophomore administrative manager Kammaleathahh Livingstone said. “At Guilford, we’re going through some sort of identity crisis where we’re going through all these different ideas about what the college should be. The co-op is just trying to play a small yet important part in establishing what we think is important at Guilford.”

These values are based on social and environmental responsibility and awareness of the effect of its business policies on the local, regional, and global communities.

Because of these values, the co-op uses only organic, fair trade coffee. Fair trade coffee is bought directly from farming cooperatives, which ensures a minimum price for farmers.

“We’ve been able to work together as a collective to make this happen and remained in concert with our morals about how this should run,” McKenna said. “And that is awesome.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *