(Photo: courtesy of Method Coffee Roasters.)Coffee on college campuses usually leaves much to be desired—and students desperate for caffeine to survive late-night study sessions have little room to protest. Fortunately, the trend of poor quality and lackluster hospitality shows promising signs of change. Last month, Method Coffee Roasters opened its first café at the University of Colorado Boulder, introducing an innovative model to support students while growing their business.
The Denver–based roasting company was founded by Kade Gianinetti, Alex Rawal, and Zach Holcomb—all alumni of CU Boulder. After the café in the university’s Leeds School of Business closed due to missed insurance payments and tax issues, the school issued a request for proposal for a café business plan. A Leeds graduate, Rawal jumped at the opportunity. “Our goal was to maintain the soul of the previous café, but ensure all taxes and compliance needs were taken care of. In addition to this, we wanted to serve better coffee,” he says.
Method started in 2013, and serves a collection of restaurants, cafés, and offices in Colorado. With values heavily focused on creating meaningful connections and influencing positive change by serving local community, expanding business to the university was a logical step. The café will be staffed by students, and 5 percent of gross sales will go to a scholarship fund for the business school.
In addition to gaining a foundation in hospitality, students will have valuable opportunities to be mentored in areas of business that align with their majors, whether that be in accounting, marketing, environmental studies, or beyond. “Launching our café inside Leeds was an ideal option when it became available—we can grow our business, support students in school, and provide funding for a scholarship,” Rawal says.
The café launched with a traditional espresso menu—ranging from espresso neat to cortados, lattes, and cappuccinos—in addition to offerings like a nitro cold-brew on draft. The entire menu is supplied by local purveyors, including Rocky Mountain Soda Company, Pressery, the Sophisticate’s Chai, Teakoe Tea, and Rosenberg’s Bagels.
—Ellie Bradley is Fresh Cup‘s editor.