CDS spokesperson Brandon Thomas said the event aims to help students understand food choices.
“It will be a chance to educate students on what constitutes fair trade and inform them about what their on-campus fair trade options are, which includes tea as well as coffee,” he said.
At the event, students will be able to hear from the founder of Larry’s Coffee, win free t-shirts and learn more about the principles of Larry’s Coffee. The dining hall will serve dishes made with Larry’s Coffee, including smoked beef short ribs and tiramisu.
Thomas said the partnership aims to promote the values of Larry’s Coffee, which is based in Raleigh.
“It’s a locally owned company and it’s dedicated to fair trade and sustainability, which is something we’ve always focused on,” he said.
Peter Floyd, the director of sales for Larry’s Coffee, said the company aims to create a quality product while making a positive impact.
“We are in constant pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee,” he said. “It is a craft that has given us the opportunity to branch off into sustainable areas, making the world a better place.”
Floyd said Larry’s Coffee pursues sustainability in every facet of its operations. The business’ efforts include recycling, composting, harvesting rainwater to flush toilets and using solar electricity to heat their offices.
Larry’s Coffee currently partners with UNC Hospitals. Deciding to extend to the dining services on campus made sense, Floyd said.
Thomas said the partnership only has positive effects for students, increasing the variety of coffee on campus and supporting a local business.
“We already have an on-campus, full-service Starbucks so we thought this would be a great opportunity to expand the coffee selection in the dining halls,” he said.
Feedback from students about the switch from Starbucks to Larry’s Coffee has been mixed.
First-year Brandon Kelly said it is difficult to adjust to the change.
“My original thought was, ‘This needs creamer,’” he said. “It didn’t satisfy my taste buds.”
Kelly said he likes Starbucks but appreciates the variety that Larry’s Coffee provides.
“Starbucks is better than anything when it comes to the consistency of the coffee quality,” Kelly said. “However, I’m always a proponent of having diversity when it comes to coffee.”
First-year Peggy Mullin said she supports the switch to Larry’s Coffee.
“The school’s decision to provide a more diverse selection of coffee is just another one of the great ways UNC is adapting through and with its student body,” Mullin said.