The Meantime Coffee Co. celebrates first birthday

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UNC senior Samantha Paisley pours coffee at The Meantime Coffee Co., which is located in the Campus Y.

To celebrate its first year of operation, The Meantime Coffee Co. served a birthday cake latte on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Purchasing one, or any of the drinks they sell, puts money toward scholarship funds and study abroad experiences. 

Molly Ewing, a second year graduate student, was at The Meantime the day it opened. She said the shop has expanded their selections since their opening, but still has the same vibe despite its growing popularity. 

“The people who work here are students and have engaged themselves, talking about what is going on in the world and school," Ewing said. "You won’t see that if you go to any coffee shop.”

Lauren Eaves, senior and co-founder of The Meantime, said Ewing’s perception is exactly the goal of the shop. Eaves sees giving back to the students as one of many social justice aspirations she and her fellow founders, Keegan McBride and Scott Diekema, hope to accomplish.

“I hope that we can begin to expand on our social impact,” Eaves said. “The name of the shop really emphasizes the fact that in college we fret about what our next step is, but instead we should be giving back while we’re here.”

Eaves and barista Patty Matos both mentioned The Meantime’s donation of $10,000 to fund two students, Kaitlin Galindo and Araseli Valverde, through Bridge Year Fellows to go abroad for a year and take part in social programs in Berlin, Italy and Brazil. Despite their clear focus on giving back to Carolina’s community, The Meantime staff is working to become an option for the average coffee shop goer. 

The Meantime has a partnership with Carrboro Coffee Roasters, a coffee producer that focuses on sustainable farming practices and local partnerships. The Meantime is one of their biggest wholesale partners, but Eaves hopes to strengthen the partnership more by working with them. Carrboro Coffee Roaster's director is a nationally renowned barista, and Eaves thinks his help could take them to the next level. 

“I think we're a good coffee shop, and I think we could be a really good coffee shop," Eaves said. 

Although some patrons have been yearlong advocates for The Meantime’s values and contributions to Carolina’s campus, some are simply there for a pick-me-up.

“I’m here maybe three or four times per week,” senior James Scalise said. “All of my classes are nearby during the day so I come in the afternoon for an iced or hot latte with almond milk.”

Scalise said it was comforting to know about The Meantime's charitable contributions and sustainable measures.

Eaves believes the values behind The Meantime are ones students and faculty alike can stand behind, but that the shop can still improve. 

“We need to improve on communicating our values,” Eaves said. “We’re a coffee shop about empowering Carolina and engaging ethically and consuming ethically and that is what we’re working on making sure people know. It’s about giving back to Carolina, one coffee at a time.”

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