Starbucks shines at SJU

The D’Angelo Center opened in December featuring St. John’s own Starbucks Café. Along with 14 classrooms, student recreation and entertainment space, the café is a convenient place for students to get their coffee fix.

The complex drinks and specialty orders customarily ordered at Starbucks are prepared by newly trained baristas comprised of both students and Chartwells employees.

Gina Capetanakis, marketing manager for Chartwells Dining Services, knew that there was a need for the Starbucks chain at the D’Angelo Center.

“When Chartwells first arrived at St. John’s in 2008, we surveyed the students on dining preferences in categories such as pizza and coffee,” said Capetanakis.

Results showed that college students think Starbucks has some of the best coffee available.

“Starbucks was high on the list,” said Capetanakis. “It is well known and popular, and results of the survey showed that students agreed.”

Senior Robby Nothdurft said he thinks that the Starbucks is a valuable addition.

“The Starbucks is truly one of the best improvements to the Queens campus,” he said.

The on-campus location, as well its ability to accept flex-dining points makes the Starbucks convenient for students.

“I wouldn’t bother leaving campus to visit any other Starbucks,” said Nothdurft.

“While studying in the designated work areas adjacent to the Starbucks on the second floor, I was able to take a five minute coffee break without having to walk more than a 100 feet.”

The D’Angelo Center Starbucks is authentic, right down to the countertops.

Capetanakis said the Starbucks design and construction team worked with St. John’s to ensure that the space met the corporation’s requirements and maintained the brand’s integrity.

Chartwells also had to make sure the employees were properly trained to make the complex drinks.

Baristas, the employees who make the drinks, were trained intensively for two weeks by Starbucks trainers before going to work.

“The potential staff trained for two weeks, then took an exam where they were required to prepare drinks for the certified baristas before they could become certified,” said Capetanakis.

“They learned everything from where the coffee comes from to

customer service techniques.”

The staff is comprised of a manager who oversees the Starbucks as well as the adjacent food court, Chartwells’ employees, and about a dozen St. John’s students.

“Everything was covered in training- the efficiency of ordering, the congeniality of the staff – it’s all a part of Starbucks,” said Capetanakis.

Senior Kevin Whalen said that the on-campus Starbucks will be his location of choice once classes begin.

“I’m an avid coffee drinker and I would certainly choose to buy from the Starbucks in the D’Angelo Center over the location on Union Turnpike,” Whalen said.

The D’Angelo Center Starbucks is competitive to other branches because it offers students the opportunity to use their meal plan points, and also remains comparable in price to outside locations.

“The Starbucks in the D’Angelo Center is a much more attractive option in my opinion,” Whalen said.

Student feedback thus far has been positive.

“The lines were relatively short. The service was quick, efficient, and surprisingly friendly,” said Northdurft.

“The quality of coffee beats any other coffee spot on campus, too.”

The D’Angelo Center Starbucks will operate on the following hours this semester: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4p.m. Sunday.