Local bakery gets pushed out of UVic in favour of Starbucks


WATCH: Starting next year, corporate coffee beans will arrive at UVic. And on campus, the locally sourced cafe will transition into a Starbucks in the fall of 2019, and as Kori Sidaway tells us, the new brew is not everyone’s favourite.

For many students, coffee is a necessary study buddy.

But the locally sourced Finnerty Express on the University of Victoria’s will soon be the location of a new Starbucks, and it’s not everyone’s cup of joe.

“No, I definitely won’t drink it! I don’t drink at Starbucks,” said Tarea Kuypers.

Some, are even quitting over it.

“I refuse to work for a corporation like that,” said Finnerty barista Rachel Goodwin.

“I like that we serve local coffee and we have local bakeries and supporting local businesses in the area, and I don’t want to work for somewhere that doesn’t do that.”

The cafe currently supplies Salt Spring Coffee and Esquimalt’s Lone Tree baked goods. And the news of the change surprised both companies.

“I found out on Facebook. I was like ‘what’? One of our biggest clients is just closing and we didn’t get any warning, no nothing,” said Lone Tree Bakery co-owner Brie Walsh.

The University of Victoria has purchased a Starbucks franchise licence and expects the new location, operated as an independent brand and staffed by UVic employees, to open in the fall of 2019.

“We’re a wholesome little bakery we cook everything fresh and everything by hand. We’re proud of that, but we can’t compete with people like Starbucks and the large chains,” said Lone Tree Bakery’s other co-owner, Nancy Walsh.

The Lone Tree Bakery mother-daughter duo say the move is sending the wrong message to students.

“UVic is saying no, it’s down to the bottom dollar,” said Nancy.

“They’re saying that local little businesses don’t count anymore and we don’t think that’s a good message to our future generations.”

And many of that future generation, agree.

“The fact that our tuition dollars were used for something that we weren’t asked about is very frustrating,” said Stop Starbucks UVic representative Sydney Welsh.

“It does very much feel like that decision wasn’t made for us as students but an older generation…that make more money,”

And Welsh’s hunch is right, an older generation is exactly who the University of Victoria says they are targeting in change.

“Conference guests, event attendees, parents at move-in, and visiting scholars have regularly requested a nationally branded coffee while on campus,” said Jim Forbes, Director of UVic Campus Services in a statement.

The school did say they are committed to transitioning Salt Spring Coffee and Lone Tree Bakery products to other locations on campus. As to exactly where is still yet to be decided.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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