Jo’s coffee plans to stay at St. Edward’s

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Jo’s Coffee has been St. Edward’s University’s main source of caffeine, breakfast tacos and other food items since 2010.

Although the contract between Jo’s and St. Edward’s is set to end this year on June 15, the coffee shop does not seem to be going anywhere.

Kara Casteel, the general manager of Jo’s on-campus locations in Ragsdale and Doyle, is looking forward to staying.

“We love it here, we feel so welcomed and so well-received by our guests,” Casteel said.

Jo’s contract is managed by Auxiliary Services. The little-known department handles the contracts of services including student IDs, meal plans, parking permits, the bookstore, Ragsdale Center, the copy center, the post office and dining services such as Bon Appetit and Jo’s.

This will be Jo’s first time negotiating a new contract with the university.

“We really don’t know what to expect. We haven’t been through this process before,” Casteel said.

Though Casteel admits it is the company’s first time negotiating, she remains optimistic.

“We also have some great ideas to improve the shop itself with some capital investments,” Casteel said. “For example, one of the things we’ve been wanting to do is put in a third POS system, so that we can now have three lines — maybe an express line.”

Serving students quickly is the shop’s goal because students make up the majority of the St. Edward’s community. When negotiations begin, Kara and her team want to expand their impact on campus.

“Part of our core values is to enrich the community that we’re in,” Casteel said. “Right now, we donate coffee to different events. But with this contract renewal coming up, we want to really start contributing to the university in a financial way, whether it be supporting clubs financially (or) creating a scholarship fund that we put stuff into each year for a student.”

According to Barton Glaser, director of Auxiliary Services, when it comes to negotiations, the process is very straightforward.

“Both parties have the opportunity to discuss what has worked well and what areas they would like to see modified,” Glaser said. “If both parties have been pleased with the relationship, the renewal goes smoothly.”

The length of the negotiations depends on how many changes are made from the original contract, but Glaser predicts that in this case, it will be fairly simple.

Glaser, along with the rest of the Auxiliary Services staff, aims to continue their goal in providing support for the St. Edward’s community.

“Serving our students in the most effective and efficient manner will remain our goal,” Glaser said.

Sophomore, Stephanie Downs visits Jo’s around three to four times a week. She hopes for the best.

“I hope it stays. I like Jo’s,” Downs said.

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