The new coffee company replaced Kaldi’s coffee after news outlets published stories where former employees of Kaldi’s alleged that racism was a problem for the company.
On June 19, 2020, local news station KSDK made a story about Kaldi’s titled, “Racism is ‘a cultural problem’ at Kaldi’s Coffee, former employees allege.”
Just five days later, the Riverfront Times wrote a story with the same topic of racism at Kaldi’s Coffee.
This sparked frustration and sadness in current senior Kieron Kessler.
“Why do we have their coffee here, why do we have them on campus when a huge value of the university is diversity and inclusion,” Kessler said.
This got Kessler thinking: what can students do to make a difference?
Make a petition, Kessler thought.
Kessler went to change.org to get Kaldi’s Coffee off of campus. Students, faculty and even parents signed the petition and within the first week of it being public. There were over 300 supporters.
Jasmine Chandler, a former student at Webster, worked at Kaldi’s and did not have a good experience.
“[Chandler] had an encounter with a racist customer and the manager did nothing”, Kessler said about their conversation with Chandler.
The search was on for a new coffee shop. Kaldi’s was out, and many companies were in the running for Webster’s next coffee seller. Eventually, General Manager of Dining Services Octavio Pino found Sun Coffee Roasters.
With the amount of student interaction on the topic, some students were given the chance to interview representatives from Sun Coffee Roasters about company ethics and morals.
The question is, though, how is it going? As a new addition to the campus after a global pandemic, Sun Coffee Roasters was here to bring students what they would be getting from Kaldi’s and even better.
“It’s better than Kaldi’s, I would recommend the caramel frappuccino or frozen chai tea,” junior Rebecca Schildroth said.
Schildroth also said that there have been new additions to the coffee store like a greater variety of drinks and foods to pick from.
“The CEO is a man but he just so happens to hire everyone around him by merit,” Kessler said about why they liked Sun Coffee Roasters.
Sun Coffee Roasters is served in the Cyber Cafe, located in the Emerson Library. The cafe is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.