Coffee Grounds: The Carpe Diem Café in Blake is Ready for Business!
How ever did the Bay Path community exist before espresso came to campus?
Dining Commons Director Franny Krushinsky laughed at that question. “It was always talked about, but it wasn’t done before.” When a new contract was hammered out this past year with food service vendor, Aramark, caffeine was a necessary part of the equation.
The agreement between the College and Aramark was that the old café would be turned into the inviting lounge that greets you at the foot of the stairs in the Blake Student Center. A completely new café experience—from an open floor plan flow of seating to a tempting array of sandwiches and snacks quickly made and ready to go—now illuminates the lower floor at Blake. Getting the right blend of beans was also essential, Krushinsky said. And for that, the decision was easy: Starbucks is now the coffee and espresso on tap at the Carpe Diem.
Quickly accessible foods for students on the fly are still part of the equation, she explained. “But we’ve scaled the offerings up a bit to go along with the coffee. The food is as good as what you’d find in the Starbucks locations in Longmeadow or Springfield, and the F’real-brand milkshake machine will whip you a smoothie just how you want it.”
The official ribbon cutting ceremony—with big scissors lent from City Hall in Springfield—took place this past October 4. Special red velvet cake pops done up in Bay Path colors for the occasion let people know that this was a totally new café, and it was completely tailored to the campus’s needs.
“The reality is that when some graduate programs are on campus, the dining commons can get overwhelmed,” Krushinsky said. “This offers another place for people to gather, get good coffee, and take it wherever they want.”
Currently the café is open at 9 a.m., but there’s a buzz that it may open sooner—at 7:30 a.m. during dining commons hours. “We’ll try it for a couple of weeks to see what the head count numbers are,” she explained.
Espresso and the college experience. It’s a perfect blend.