Starbucks in Hanson Hall to become Caribou Coffee

The coffee shop will undergo construction and officially open its doors in late summer.

Starbucks employee Hanna Okhrimchuk takes down a customers order.

Image by Jack Rodgers

Starbucks employee Hanna Okhrimchuk takes down a customer’s order.

by Eliana Schreiber

Minnesota-based Caribou Coffee is replacing the Starbucks Coffee in Hanson Hall at the University of Minnesota in the next few months.

By the end of the summer, the Starbucks on West Bank campus will become a Caribou, making it the second Caribou at the University, adding to the location in Moos Tower.

The change was prompted in part by the popularity of the Moos Tower location, said M Dining senior marketing manager Chris Elrod.

Caribou has always been one of the higher-ranked campus coffee shops in survey results, Elrod said.

“There wasn’t anything egregious on the Starbucks side or our side that prompted the change,” he said.

Elrod said the new Caribou location in Hanson could expand food options in the building, since Caribou owns Einstein Bagels.

The new location will open sometime around late July or early August, he said. When students return in the fall, the location will have a celebratory grand opening.

The change will not affect the on-campus Lind Hall and Coffman Union Starbucks locations, Elrod said. Part of the switch was also inspired by the University’s interest in partnering with local businesses.

“We followed an opportunity to expand our partnership with a local Minnesota company,” Elrod said.

Freshman electrical engineering student Marie Wulff said she appreciates the University’s effort to include more Minnesota-based companies.

“It’s a Minnesota staple, and the only one we have is in Moos,” Wulff said.

While personally she doesn’t have a clear preference for Starbucks or Caribou, Wulff said she welcomes the switch. Freshman and Minnesota native Joshua Miller agrees.

“I like Caribou a little bit more than I like Starbucks,” Miller said.

And although freshman nursing student Hope Blackford prefers Caribou to Starbucks, she said she doesn’t spend any time on the West Bank campus, so the change likely won’t change her routine.

“I’m more of a Starbucks person for sure,” said Emilie Gasparini, a psychology senior.