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Friday June 18th

The Daily Grind could be affected by Student Stores privatization

<p>Stephanie Kim, a sophomore student, buys coffee from barista Mariko Davison at the Daily Grind located in the student store.</p>
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Stephanie Kim, a sophomore student, buys coffee from barista Mariko Davison at the Daily Grind located in the student store.

On Jan. 11, UNC released a request for proposal, known as an RFP, inviting outside companies to propose to privately manage Student Stores — and the Pit coffee shop is referenced in the document.

Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises, said The Daily Grind is mentioned in the RFP because it is a privately owned company that has an existing contract with the University.

“When we’ve gone out with the RFP to look at somebody to potentially manage the stores,” Ives said. “We’ve told them we have existing contracts, so that’s why The Daily Grind is referenced in the RFP.”

In September, Matt Fajack, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said if the proposal from one company, Follett, to privatize Student Stores went through, The Daily Grind wouldn’t be affected.

Ives said Fajack’s comment was true at the time.

“What (Fajack) was saying was basically is that the contract of The Daily Grind wouldn’t be affected. We wouldn’t terminate their contract prematurely. And at that time in September, we were hoping to have the whole process done by December of last year, so The Daily Grind contract still would have been in place when somebody took over management,” Ives said.

The Daily Grind’s contract was renewed in 2015 on a one-year basis and will run through June 30 of this year, Ives said.

“We’ll have to make a decision about the renewal of The Daily Grind contract and we’ll do that like we always do. The Daily Grind doesn’t have some perpetual right to run a coffee bar at the Student Stores. It’s just a contract that the University has,” he said.

The Facebook page “Keep the ‘UNC’ in UNC Student Stores” said they feel Fajack made a false claim about the future of the Daily Grind.

“So why is operation of the coffee shop now included in the RFP? The Daily Grind has served our campus for over 22 years, but now its future is uncertain. #BrokenPromises,” a Feb. 2 post from the group on their Facebook page said.

Jane Brown, owner of The Daily Grind, said she is aware of the RFP and isn’t sure where the fate of the coffee shop stands.

“I think it will depend on the corporation coming in and if they have their own coffee resources. We are just waiting until April, like the Student Stores, to see what happens,” she said.

“I wish I did know something, because it is difficult running a business when you have no idea of the future.”


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