Conscientious coffee: The Greenleaf is set to re-open

Hot coffee. Freshly baked treats. Local art. Fair-trade.

It began in 2003 when a few Guilford College students toyed with the idea of sprouting a cooperative business on campus.  

A coffee co-op? Why not. 

Today, the Greenleaf thrives as its members encourage an alternative business model through “educating themselves and the community, conscientious purchasing and supporting other groups that share (their) values.”

Recently, the Greenleaf has undergone changes due to the renovations in Mary Hobbs Hall, which began last spring. 

Dawning in its 11th year, the Greenleaf has uprooted and planted itself in a fresh location: the basement of Milner Hall.  

The chatter of delighted Guilford students will soon fill a new and crisp space. A second chapter will unfold amidst the aroma of coffee and chai.

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and new Greenleaf staff supervisor Miriam Biber aims to use this adjustment as an opportunity to push the Greenleaf and its mission further. 

“Ultimately, the more people involved, means the more power that the actual mission can hold,” Biber said. “The Greenleaf is particularly important because everything at Guilford is an opportunity for learning and it should be. I see it as experiential learning. There is a lot of opportunity for improvement and expansion for the whole community to benefit.”

Although the move has given rise to excitement, it has also made some students wary of the big change. Senior and Greenleaf staff member Jon Macemore explained that he felt kind of sad when he was first informed of the Greenleaf’s transition to a new location. 

“The Greenleaf had been in that space for 10 years,” said Macemore. “There was a lot of history and a lot of intentionality that had gone into the space. A lot of memories that have made my Guilford experience what it is.” 

It will be a big change for Macemore and other Guilford students. However, the move will also provide many new benefits. The new location will increase productivity as well as attract new clientele, who not only purchase coffee and baked goods but also enjoy the new environment. 

Chelsea Yarborough, another senior and Greenleaf staff member, agreed that this would be a great opportunity for the Greenleaf to get more students involved. 

“The move has been generating a lot of excitement in the Greenleaf,” said Yarborough. “We are hoping to open (it) up to a vast expanse of students and encourage students of all years to come in. We are excited to meet new people and be closer to the action.”

The Greenleaf’s re-opening has not been announced, and is expected to be complete with brand-new furnishings and decor later this semester. Although it is not completely finished, Biber as well as other Greenleaf members still plan to gather in the space in spirit of the Greenleaf with coffee, yummy treats and some good laughs.  

“The Greenleaf is a really important space on campus to seek a comfortable environment of stimulation, not only in the form of caffeine, but in the form of really inspiring conversation,” said Macemore. “It is more than just a coffee shop, it is a space where things happen.” 

Stay tuned for updates on the re-opening, but in the meantime, the Greenleaf is always open to new ideas and members, so get involved. 

If you have any questions contact [email protected].