The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV Brew serves up boba and bubbles

GVL | Alena Visnovsky

Coffee is a staple for many college student’s lives, both to get the day started and to push through long study sessions. A campus staple to Grand Valley State University students, staff and visitors is GV Brew, located in the Mary Idema Pew Library. The convenient location makes it easy for students to grab a quick study snack or drink during their time at the library or on their way to and from classes.

GV Brew took on big changes for the new school year. Previously, GV Brew was affiliated with the popular franchise Starbucks and sold Starbucks-branded coffee and drinks. Coming into the new year, Laker Food Co. decided to disaffiliate from Starbucks and its menu, curating its own brand and offerings. The decision to discontinue the Starbucks affiliated partnership was made along with the new additions of boba and bubble tea to the menu. 

“Laker Food Co. wanted to create a destination for students where unique products could be offered. It was all about bringing Boba and Bubble Tea to campus,” said Deb Rambadt, a staff member of Laker Food Co.

Rambadt said there are no negative feelings towards Starbucks, and Laker Food Co. is pleased with the Allendale and Pew campus Starbucks locations, both of which are also popular places for students. The decision to disaffiliate came mostly from the want to diversify their menu options. 

The menu now includes pre-fixed lemonades and tea with boba, as well as the option to customize a drink based on flavor preferences. Despite dropping the Starbucks affiliation the cafe still sells traditional coffee drinks, chai, Thai tea and mochas as well. This menu addition creates a variety of menu choice options for students to try. 

Laker Food Co. said the additions required little change to GV Brew and aimed to invoke a positive reaction from the student body.

“We’ve had a positive response and we believe that as more students become aware of GV Brew inside the library, the popularity will grow,” Rambadt said.

Kanyha Johnson, a student employee at GV Brew, said the training for the new menu has been easy to adjust to and not too overwhelming. Johnson said she prefers GV Brew now because she feels the location has “better customer service and quicker drinks” compared to when it was affiliated with Starbucks. 

Johnson said her favorite thing about the new changes is when customers ask for her opinion on what to try. She enjoys helping customers find a boba drink that will please them. Johnson, a fan of tropical fruity flavors, recommends the hibiscus berry tea with fruity boba. 

“I love my iced, vanilla caramel latte, but I really do like the strawberry lemonade bursts at the same time,” Johnson said. 

In addition to the new menu items GV Brew now supports the Thrive Farmers international beverage program, a program that creates sustainable income opportunities for farmers. The location will be replacing the usage of Starbucks branded products with products from Thrive Farmers such as tea and coffee grounds. 

Maintaining their location in the library will also allow Laker Food Co. to continue to serve as many students as they can. The addition of boba tea is not the only change coming to establishments managed by Laker Food Co. this year. The week of Oct. 2 Einstein’s Bagels will be opening inside the DeVos Center on Pew Campus. Laker Food Co. anticipates another positive reaction from the students with this new addition.

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