Here in the state of Vermont, many local residents are supporters of purchasing local food products and the state’s capital, Montpelier, is famous nationwide for being the only state capital that does not have a McDonald’s nor any other popular chain restaurants.
But it seems that Norwich students might be happy to see a new java option such as Dunkin’ Donuts come to the campus, though the gourmet Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is located right down the road in Waterbury.
Even though Green Mountain Coffee is available right here on campus at the Mill and the chow hall, students still make the 20 minute commute to Montpelier just to dive into the goodies at Dunkin’ Donuts.
With the awareness of student opinion, Norwich is looking into expanding the food and beverage options on campus, and rumors of a Dunkin’ Donuts in the future recently caught attention.
Dave Magida, NU’s chief administrative officer, confirmed the school was considering the idea. “The university is evaluating several options for expanding our offering of food and beverages as well as expanding the locations where we might provide these options.”
Places such as Dunkin’ Donuts and other options are possibilities but this would need to work for all parties, Magida explained.
“The program needs to be attractive to all parties, this isn’t only up to Norwich. We are in the evaluation mode so I don’t yet know the impact, if any, on existing contracts.”
Since the rumor of a Dunkin’ Donuts coming to campus broke, many students throughout campus expressed that this would be a beneficial addition.
“Last semester, from my experience, I know friends who would go to Dunkin’ Donuts every day. They would drive 20 minutes there and 20 minutes back just so they could get the right coffee they wanted,” said Kylie Schubert 21, a senior studies of war and peace major and English minor from Fairfield, Calif.
“Having Dunkin’ Donuts here would save people a lot of time and money, and it would only benefit the school because the money would be staying within the university,” Schubert explained.
Although Schubert does not have a Dunkin’ Donuts near her home town out west, she would be happy to see the coffee come to Norwich’s campus. “I would be a frequent customer,” she said, “I’m not a big fan of Sodexo, so it would be good to have something different here.”
On the flip side, some students are content with the coffee that is served here and many of them also have their own personal coffee makers.
“Personally, I would probably not go there that often just because I’m cautious with my money and I would rather just make my own coffee with the coffee maker that I have,” said Kathryn Carne, 21, a junior psychology major from Windham, N.H. She counts herself a real coffee fan.
“Dunkin Donuts could never come close to the coffee in Italy,” Carne said, reflecting on her last semester abroad. “But I know that if they sold their other products other than coffee I would probably end up caving in and going there,” she explained.
“I think it would be nice if they introduced a little bit of competition between Sodexo and someone else because they (Sodexo) have a monopoly on all food that is sold here and it would be interesting to see how they would respond to it,” said Andrew Beechinor, a 21-year-old junior political science major from Andover, Mass. He said the popularity of Dunkin Donuts on campus will be dependent on the variety of products that will be sold.
“If it’s only coffee that is being sold, I don’t think it will make a huge difference. Obviously the majority of the people who go there get coffee, but I honestly don’t think there’s a huge difference between them (Dunkin Donuts) and other coffees,” Beechinor said.
“What’s really going to make it effective is if they can serve other things like bagels, donuts, and other products that make the company popular,” he said.
“Having such a big label like Dunkin Donuts on campus would be huge for this school,” said Andrew Bracy, 20, a sophomore history major from Carthage, N.Y.
“I’m not saying that it would make kids come here, but it would definitely show that the school is willing to provide the students with options on where to eat,” he said..
The convenience factor is key for some students.
“Having a Dunkin’ Donuts here on campus would be a life-saver,” said Mark Paradiso, 20, a junior business major from Westford, Mass. Paradiso is a student who lives off-campus and does not have a meal plan and often commutes to various locations for meals throughout the day.
“With my schedule, I have early morning classes every day, often I wake up and don’t have time for breakfast. Having a Dunkin’ Donuts here would make things a lot easier because I can just go there and grab a bagel or something real quick and be all set rather than having to go elsewhere and waste gas and more money,” Paradiso explained.
“Even though there are good places to eat in the Northfield area, not too many students go out of their way to go off campus and get something else to eat or drink,” Paradiso added. “Having something like a Dunkin’ Donuts here would only be beneficial in every way.”
Magida said that nothing has been decided at this point. With many parties involved, along with costs and options, it is possible that no new option would be viable. “Our goal is to provide more options for the Norwich community. If all the pieces can fall into place, I hope that we have some more options for the start of the next academic year,” Magida said.