Saxbys, a B-corp coffee company with national education initiatives, has partnered with Boston University Dining to open a new cafe on the first floor of the Center for Computing and Data Sciences opening next semester.
A B-corp is a for-profit corporation that is driven by mission and profit with some sort of public benefit.
Dan VanAvery, director of retail dining at BU Dining Services, said Saxbys will open with a lot of seating spaces on the first floor which the University hopes will give relief to other food vendors at Central Campus during peak times.
“In addition to lobby, which have been designed to be an open space with a variety of seating options, there will be inside and outside seating,” VanAvery wrote in an email. “(The cafe will offer) more than 180 total seats in the first floor lobby area.”
VanAvery wrote that students will be able to use the Grubhub app to order food and pay with their dining and convenience points. He also confirmed there will be on-campus job positions for students to work at the cafe.
“With the exception of a management position, this location will be entirely student run,” VanAvery wrote. “The Saxbys program is a unique experience in that it’s run by students, but it also offers a unique menu as well.”
Although their website boasts that “No two Saxbys Cafes are exactly alike,” their menus all feature an array of hot and cold coffee drinks, breakfast and assorted grilled cheeses.
Sajeda Virji, brand communications manager at Saxbys, shared in an email Saxbys’s excitement to be part of the community at BU.
“Innovation and growth is at the forefront at BU, and that aligns perfectly with what we believe in,” she said.
Opening a new cafe at BU will be the first location for Saxbys in New England, Virji said, and the company hopes it will, “serve as a key component of our expansion plans into the Northeast.”
“As a Certified B corporation with plans to expand the Experiential Learning Platform model to locations across the country, our newest location at BU will be integral to our growth,” Virji wrote. “This was a mutually beneficial partnership BU Dining was seeking for a special and unique student-centric offering.”
The Saxbys ELP is a program for young people to prove they have, “what it takes to mold the business movement of the future,” by designing and running cafes as Student Cafe Executive Officers on college campuses.
“BU students who become team members … will get access to experiential leadership opportunities like our certified leadership roles in supply chain, talent acquisition, and training and development,” Liz Langemak, director of academic platforms at Saxbys wrote. “Saxbys Experiential Learning Cafe … gives students and faculty from all disciplines to engage with a real business on campus.”
BU Saxbys cafe will be led this Spring by a New Market Leadership Trainer at Saxbys, Rainier Foley-Defiore, who was a student leader at Penn State Saxbys cafe, graduated and then joined Saxbys’s corporate team this year.
“In the spring 2019 semester I moved into the student cafe executive officer role, and ran that cafe for six months,” he said. “(I learned) a lot about interpersonal communication about managing people, being a leader and how to run a business.”
He expressed the excitement for Saxbys to start operating at the Center for CDS, which he describes as, “a beautiful building.”
“The only thing I’ll say I have is excitement,” Foley-DeFiore said. “(BU) students are going to be very familiar with large seating areas, the seating is going to mean there’s a lot of room to study, meet up with friends and to hang out before and after classes.”
The cafe is projected to open with building in January 2023, and will offer a variety of menus and innovative product offerings for students.
“BU expects that this café will provide a high-quality food program to the occupants of the new Data Science Center,” Paul Riel, associate vice president for BU Auxiliary Services, wrote. “The university benefits when we provide food programs that are relevant to the population we are serving.”