On-campus coffee shop welcomes any and all


The coffee bean and the revitalizing liquid it produces when soaked in hot water has been a commodity to human life for centuries.

When the first Starbucks opened in 1971 however, the company had only started to turn the commodity of coffee into a necessity.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2016, 45 years after the first Starbucks opened in Pike Place Market in Seattle, according to the Starbucks website, a quaint and modern corner coffee shop opened in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

Where Gambini’s Café once existed with a partial Starbucks menu, a fully renovated Starbucks shop opened on Jan. 18, just in time for classes and the winter season.

Fortunately the opening ceremony is slated for Feb. 18, therefore, there is still time to prepare for the free beverages, giveaways and prizes to come.

As that day looms for caffeine-heads, other aspects such as the location, the workers and the renovations can become a coffee shop conversation in itself. What does Starbucks bring to the community?

Samantha Reid, who is a sophomore psychology and criminology major at Wilkes, also works at Starbucks. Reid says there are a number of student employees who work there including herself.

She commented on the flow of business and saying, “It definitely gets most busy between classes and we see a lot of students and faculty.”

Reid also contributed to how busy it gets to its location on Main Street stating, “It’s on Main St. and it’s right across from Towers. It’s definitely closer than Dunkin Donuts. The only bad thing is that some people will spend all of their flex or dining dollars here.”

Fortunately, Starbucks in Gambini’s does take flex and dining dollars for Wilkes students. Unfortunately, someone who runs out of flex and dining dollars because they go to Starbucks just may not be able to get any more coffee in the morning, after class and before the shop closes.

However, since the coffee shop is dominantly connected to the coffee house culture, one who has never been to a Starbucks before may think all they serve is coffee, when in reality, they have a new full sized menu including teas, frappucinos, cappuccinos, espresso, iced-coffee, premium roasted coffee, hot-cocoa and even baked goods and pastries. The renovations also included two coolers, which hold alternatives to the menu such as water, juices and Starbucks chilled coffee.

Sheri Murray, who is a manager at Starbucks at Gambini’s, gave a statement about the location as a whole.

“Starbucks is considered the “third place’ in people’s lives. Where the home is the first, work or school is the second and Starbucks in the third.”

“Having a Starbucks here adds to the sense of community,” Murray said, “I see so many different people a day and Starbucks considers everyone welcome.”

According to Wilkes University’s website, the full size Starbucks in Gambini’s is part of the partnership made with Aramark to improve options to students on campus. Its opening comes in addition to POD in the Stark Learning Center as well as Grille Works and Which Wich in the S.U.B.

In the wake of the opening ceremony scheduled for Feb. 18, Murray and staff seem prepared to show everyone what Starbucks really stands for and will undoubtedly continue to expand options for students on campus and abroad.