“The majority of other enterprises on campus have student employees, but no students in management,” he said. “We thought that with all the current emphasis on entrepreneurship and experiential education, there should be a space on campus for students to get those business management skills that they are studying in the classroom.”
In the fall of 2015, the coffee shop received money from the Campus Y’s startup incubator, CUBE, and the steering committee for UNC’s campus-wide theme, Food for All.
“To have something that is entirely student-run and something that is dedicated in its entirety to creating community and helping the Carolina community, it seems very fitting to have that business in the Campus Y,” Eaves said.
The Meantime will be one of the only places on campus to stock coffee from a specialty coffee roaster — Carrboro Coffee Roasters.
“There are no middle men involved in the partnership. It’s straight from the small-scale farmer to the roastery,” Eaves said. “And (Carrboro Coffee Roasters) work really closely to ensure that the best coffee beans are produced and there is a kind of mutual incentive to create the best coffee.”
Until recently, coffee from a specialty coffee roaster was available next to the Pit at The Daily Grind, which sold Counter Culture Coffee, but closed in June. The space formerly occupied by The Daily Grind now sells Starbucks coffee.
Diekema said The Meantime is not a response to The Daily Grind’s closing, but the taste and price of coffee will be similar to that of The Daily Grind’s.
“We’re going to compete as much as we can with coffee prices elsewhere on campus, but given the quality of our product, which is equivalent to The Daily Grind, we’re going to do the best we can,” he said.
Along with typical cafe beverages, The Meantime will partner with local vendors such as Made with Love Bakery to sell food.
The shop will be farther from the Pit than other campus coffee outlets, but for some students, good coffee is well worth the walk.
“I would probably prefer to buy (coffee) from whichever is closest to me at the time, but if the coffee is a lot better at the Campus Y location, then I probably wouldn’t mind walking five minutes to go to the Campus Y just to get the coffee there,” senior William Jaouhari said.
Hours will initially be Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., though the team plans to eventually extend the hours.
“The name comes from the phrase ‘in the meantime,’” Diekema said. “The idea there was that we view college as this transition phase. We kind of want, through The Meantime, through the people working there and through our customers, to show that there is so much you can do in your four years at Carolina.”