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ISSUE 118 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/15/2004

Shop still brewing

By Allie Helling
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 15, 2004

Shop still brewing Allie Helling

The Larson Coffeehouse, located on Larson's ground floor, has opened for the 2004-2005 school year and is once again off to a good start. The coffeehouse offers a comfortable study environment and affordable drinks and snacks for students.

Lauren Anderson '06, manager of the coffeehouse this year, is happy with how the school year has begun.

"Things have been running smoothly," Anderson said.

The shop is open Sunday through Thursday nights, from 9 p.m. until midnight, and is an ideal study place. The soul of the Larson coffeehouse is its laid-back and comfortable atmosphere.

Larson Coffeehouse offers homestyle nachos, bagels, noodles and a variety of beverages, including chai tea, hot chocolate and apple cider.

Though the noodles do not seem to have caught on, they usually become the most popular item on the menu.

"We have lots of different spices that can be added to them," Anderson said.

Students seem impressed with the taste of the food.

"I love the hot chocolate," Josh Swenson '07 said.

The price of the items on the menu also pleases customers. Most items cost a dollar or less, but some say the food is much better than food from other sources costing the same price.

"We sell more substantial food than vending machines," Anderson said.

While the business sells its products at very low prices, it is able to make a small profit. These profits enter into an account with the Business Office, which allows the coffeehouse to continue to operate. The money taken from the account is used to buy food and pay for other expenses.

The wages of the employees, however, come from student work money. Nine people are employed at the coffeehouse, including Anderson. In general, Larson Coffeehouse student workers work about seven hours a week.

The music played also enhances the room's atmosphere and compliments its use as a study spot.

"We try to keep the music study-friendly," Anderson said. Classical or alternative music usually plays from a stereo in the Coffeehouse.

Coffeehouse patrons seem pleased with its musical selections.

"I like the music. I wonder what station it is," Nicole Peterson '08 said.

Students also like the music because it is not too distracting.

"It's not as loud as Blue Monday," Grant Dobbe '06 said.

The Larson Coffeehouse also welcomes live musical acts on its stage.

"We try to have events at least once a month," Anderson said. "Anyone is welcome to play. It's a really good place for on-campus artists to get their name out there." Interested musical acts should contact Anderson.

The coffeehouse has received a warm welcome overall from St. Olaf students.

"I think it rivals Blue Monday Clare Kennedy 07 said. It's very friendly and convenient.

Originally opened in 1985, Larson Coffeehouse continues its tradition of bringing hot coffee, good food and a study atmosphere to all students.

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