I was fortunate enough to be selected to travel to DeLand, Florida on behalf of BSU to participate in Stetson University's Model Senate program. During the 5 days that I was there, I frequented the Coffee Shop they had on campus.
The coffee shop surprised me since it was run by Sodexo (much like our coffee corner in the basement of the library at BSU) and also brewed Starbuck's coffee but despite the similarities, the coffee shop at Stetson just seemed much better. During my visits, I quickly realized why that was.
The Stetson Coffee Shop is the most crowded spot on campus and is located in the main building. It was opened recently, 2 years ago, on the request of the students. It replaced a much LESS popular "Stetson Station" which served less than tasteful coffee which was disliked equally by all.
The Stetson Coffee shop owes most of its popularity to the fact that they are open 7 days a week, rain or shine! Even though the menu contains the basic Starbucks commodities, they also serve Panini's, desserts, salads and even mini customizable pizzas, quiches and chicken wings.
The part that attracted me most about their coffee shop that made theirs distinct from ours was the ambiance. They played all types of music ranging from modern hits to classical compositions from the Baroque period and also played some Mozart pieces. They have tried to create an antique feel in their shop with old lamps and furnishings but they have enough lighting so that people can cozy up on a big chair and read a book.
The main competition they face is surprisingly not from Dunkin Donuts even though there are two within a mile radius of the campus. I think that might be because Southern states don't have a particular liking towards Dunkin Donuts as much as we do up north. Their main source of competition is the Hat Rack on campus. The Hat Rack serves gourmet coffee along with smoothies and sandwiches and soup. But, their main focus is on their Einstein Bagels and not the coffee thus limiting their role as competition.
My visit included a Starbucks Vanilla Frappucino. I consecutively visited for 3 days. The place mostly housed students and faculty members dropped in and grabbed their coffees and ran to class. The Barista's knew everyone on a first name basis along with their usual orders. They quickly spotted me as an outsider and asked me if I had recently joined the Stetson family.
Maybe, this might be motivation enough for BSU students and faculty members to round everybody up and petition for a new coffee shop. If Stetson University can do it, so can Bridgewater State University!
421 N. Woodland Blvd.
DeLand, FL 32723
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