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Coffee Deals Bring New Beans and Benefits

By Dave Jones on April 25, 2017 in University News

UC Davis announced today (April 25) it has two new coffee supply contracts that, besides putting new java brands in our cups and mugs, will support our students and academics in a big way.

 Peet's and Java CityUnder the eight-year-long agreements, the Davis and Sacramento campuses will buy coffee beans — around 30 tons annually — from Peet’s and Java City. In return, the companies will contribute more than $1 million for scholarships and internships, service opportunities at home and abroad, and additional funding for the UC Davis Coffee Center — none of which the university was getting under existing contracts — as well as equipment and service for campus coffee operations.

The new contracts do not cover the ASUCD Coffee House, which is sticking with its Beantrees deal, but will have the opportunity to make purchases under the campus contracts.

Outside the Coffee House (and its Coho South Café and BioBrew locations), Peet’s and Java City will bring new tastes and excitement to the campus coffee culture. “While the scholarships, internships and service projects will go a long way in supporting UC Davis, ultimately Peet’s Coffee and Java City’s robust offerings will have the campus abuzz,” said C.J. Caudle, manager of Strategic Sourcing, part of the university’s Procurement and Contracting Services.

He said Peet’s and Java City provide sustainable and ethically sourced products, and each vendor “brings local flair to a global product” — with Peet’s having been founded in Berkeley and Java City in Sacramento.

The changes ahead

  • Starbucks is out, Peet’s is in at the Silo and Activities and Recreation Center (licensed locations), and King Hall Coffee on the Davis campus. Staff jobs at all three locations are unaffected, because those jobs are university jobs — and the staff will simply switch from serving Starbucks to serving Peet’s. UC Davis will be hiring to replace the Sodexo supervisors.
  • You will also see the Peet’s brand on a coffee cart coming to the new International Center and a kiosk that will be built outside the lecture hall under construction on California Avenue. For expansion beyond that, the CoHo will have the right of first refusal to take on additional campus coffee service. “Our deal supports the best interest of dining and retail services, while maintaining our students’ freedom to operate as they see fit,” Caudle said.
  • Java City, with its more extensive lineup of eco-friendly coffees, will provide beans for the Davis campus dining commons and catering.
  • The Sacramento campus will feature Peet’s in Scrubs Café in the Education Building, and in a new espresso stand within the Pavilion Café. You will find the Java City brand in the Ambulatory Care Center, and in patient care and catering, a continuation of UC Davis Health’s longtime partnership with Java City.

Things are looking up with UP3

The coffee contracts offer an example of the kind of deals the new UC Davis Preferred Partnership Program will be crafting. Called UP3 for short, the program will bring campus units together to boost their purchasing power, putting UC Davis in a better position to negotiate benefits for the university.

The campus started work on the coffee deal before the launch of UP3, but took the same approach, by issuing a request for proposals for a combined deal for the Davis and Sacramento campuses. “Working in conjunction with UC Davis Health heightened the impact of this venture and helped build momentum for future collaboration,” Caudle said.

The opportunity for a cross-Causeway coffee collaboration arose because of two factors:

  • The Davis campus decided to self-operate Dining Services, ending its longtime contract with Sodexo, which in turn negotiated a contract with Starbucks. (The Sodexo contract — and by extension the company’s Starbucks deal for UC Davis — ends June 30.)
  • Java City’s contract with UC Davis Health was coming to an end.

Peet’s and Java City both put in bids in response to the university’s request for proposals — and UC Davis elected to split the coffee deal between the two vendors. “Davis is a diverse campus with diverse tastes,” Caudle said. “The direction our stakeholders chose was to incorporate more options and tastes, rather than having a single brand represented.

“The Peet’s retail presence will be higher visibility,” he said, “but Java City’s commitment is significant, and its expansion to the Davis campus strengthens our commitment to the local economy.”

Return to students and academics

In describing the bidding and vetting process, Kraig Brady of Student Housing and Dining Services said, “We negotiated the best deal for campus coffee service and student support.”

Over the eight-year life of the contracts, the companies will support university programs with a direct investment of $350,000. Of that amount, $200,000 will go to scholarships and educational programming, and service and sustainability projects. Campus officials noted the funding will cover internships at local roasting and operations centers, and a program to send medical students to coffee growing regions to provide medical care.

The remaining $150,000 over eight years will go to expand teaching and research at the Coffee Center, established last fall as UC Davis positions itself as a leader in coffee science. Peet’s previously donated $250,000 to fund the Peet’s Coffee Pilot Roastery at the Coffee Center.

The companies also will pour $420,000 into equipment and service for campus coffee operations, and provide $266,000 to UC Davis for marketing and tastings and other events.

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