By Melinda Gotzy
What’s something that almost every college student needs in order to get through the day’s demands? A nice, hot cup of coffee. While not every member of KU is a coffee addict, it’s safe to say the majority of the student body and faculty members like to indulge in a white chocolate mocha every now and then. Just like KU’s reliance on coffee, small business owners of multiple coffee shops on Main Street rely on our need for caffeine in order to make a profit.
The installation of the Dunkin’ Donuts on East Main Street back in mid 2014 caused concern for small businesses such as the Uptown Espresso Bar, The Flying Dutchman and Global Libations.
Being a franchise, Dunkin’ Donuts’ earnings can cause major deficits in the local businesses we love due to the large reputation Dunkin holds. If we – the students, faculty members and residents of Kutztown — support Dunkin’s sales, these small coffee shops may go out of business. We would be giving up multiple aspects that Dunkin’ can’t provide for us coffee junkies. Dunkin’ can’t offer an atmosphere like Uptown Espresso’s quaint, rustic décor.
Jay Winkleman, a senior here at KU, said, “At least those guys [at Uptown] don’t extort their customers for a good Cup o’ Joe and satisfying environment,” when asked to compare the two.
Dunkin’ Donuts can’t replicate the taste of homemade donuts. “The Frying Dutchman is so good! My mom was so excited to get donuts there that she locked her keys in her car,” said KU Junior Emily Biedka. Dunkin’ also can’t concoct an all-organic cup of coffee like Global Libations can. Kutztown is known to be a small town, so why not support the businesses that define it?
Don’t get me wrong; I splurge on a Dunkaccino every once in a while because it’s delicious. But if the fate of these small businesses is in our hands, why not spend our money on our local coffee shops instead of a Dunaccino? Their hard work and efforts to provide unique experiences for all of us should not go to waste because the borough of Kutztown decided it was time to add a franchise to this uniquely minute town.