Starbucks brick and mortar location delayed, but program will offer the famous coffee anyway.

Imran Majid

Sacramento State University Enterprises Inc. will soon be offering an additional option for coffee beginning Sept. 3 with the opening of a Starbucks “We Proudly Brew” program in the American River Courtyard suites.

While the program is not an official Starbucks store, it will supplement until the formally licensed location opens in the spring at what used to be the Copy Graphics Center near the Riverfront Center.

“The store is a very formal license agreement and in all respects, it should look like a Starbucks store,” said University Enterprises Inc. Executive Director Jim Reinhart. “Whereas the ‘We Proudly Brew’ program, it doesn’t offer the full Starbucks menu and it sells other products besides Starbucks products.”

While University Enterprises Inc. anticipated completion of the Starbucks store this fall, Reinhart said the project is taking longer than expected because of the outdated location and ensured compliance of state rules.

The renovated venue will have a community room, new seating, restrooms and improved capacity.

“It will be a nice amenity for the campus because it will be a place where students can congregate, socialize and study,” Reinhart said.

In 2006, Java City entered into a 10-year exclusivity contract with University Enterprises Inc. in exchange for building a café near the library- a $350,000 project.

But Reinhart said Java City recently changed its business model and became a primary roast and distributor of coffee. With Java City’s exit from the café business, the contract was terminated three years early through a mutual agreement by both parties, allowing University Enterprises Inc. to bring in another choice for coffee on campus.

One of the primary reasons Starbucks was chosen was due to a 2012 survey conducted by University Enterprises Inc. The survey found 98 percent of students who responded preferred Starbucks as their top choice for coffee.

“Some people might just have a big thing for Java City,” said Director of Marketing Services Angela Rader. “They love their coffee. Not as much as a fan of Starbucks. And of course you have the tried and true Starbucks fans. It’s only in everybody’s best interests to be able to have that opportunity to decide.”

Because University Enterprises Inc. operates both Java City and Starbucks, competition would only exist from within the auxiliary organization.

 “Any drop in sales at Java City we would expect to see those sales to transfer to Starbucks and to see coffee sales in general on campus be higher than they were before Starbucks came,” Reinhart said.

Reinhart said the Java City Roundhouse will likely be most affected by the new Starbucks, but University Enterprises Inc. will continue to evaluate sales and may choose to rebrand that location in the future.

Sophomore speech pathology major Bri McClurg said she prefers Starbucks because it provides more drink options and will probably get coffee more often.

“I’m pretty excited for it,” McClurg said. “I guess I’m more familiar with Starbucks and I don’t live near campus. So when I come here I prefer to have Starbucks because it tastes better.”

Dining Services Director Steven Davis said, “My feeling is the overwhelming majority of (students) will find (Starbucks) to be a favorable addition to the campus and will embrace it in a manner that is in keeping with their expectations and their desires.”

Davis said Starbucks believes in providing a social experience, and he hopes people enjoy having it on campus.   

“Food in general tends to bring people together, and coffee is one vehicle for allowing that to happen in a pleasing, comfortable atmosphere,” Davis said.