KOKOMO, Ind. – There are a lot of perks to being an Indiana University Kokomo student.
The fall semester kicked off Monday (August 26) with the grand opening of the Ground Up Café, a new campus coffee shop, in the Kelley Student Center Commons.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke, together with sophomore Ciara Stout, who won a contest to name it, and Robert Rozzi, director of food services, officially cut the ribbon to open the shop.
The idea for a campus coffeehouse had been brewing for several years, Sciame-Giesecke said.
“Now it’s come to fruition, and it’s made my day today,” she said. “I hope everyone will take the opportunity to come and enjoy it.”
Operated by Rozzi’s Catering, the campus food service provider, the Ground Up Café is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Stout, from Warsaw, created the name by researching coffee puns. The name encompasses all the people she’s met on campus, and the idea that everyone student starts at ground level.
She toured the café during construction, and was excited to see the completed product.
“I think this is going to be a place people can go to hang out, meet friends, and just take a break and a breather from classes,” she said.
Stout received a $250 scholarship, a $100 gift card to the coffee shop, and a basket of IU Kokomo swag for her winning name.
In the lounge area, comfortable seating invites those entering to sit and sip their coffee, smoothie, tea, cold brew, or lemonade, with mellow music playing softly in the background.
Behind the bar, student baristas move smoothly, preparing the drinks and serving sweet and savory pastries from the shiny glass case.
Informatics student Jared Jackson, Kokomo, is head barista, and looks forward to serving his fellow students in that role.
“College campuses run on caffeine,” he said. “I’m really excited to have someplace to get coffee on campus.”
Freshmen Sophie Davidson and Reese Johnson were among the first customers, and were excited to find the new shop when they arrived for their first classes.
“It will be a fun place to meet new people,” said Davidson. “This is a place to stay and chat.”
Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.