ERIC M. JUKELEVICS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Pia Mogollon, a Coffee Plantation employee for two months, bags bagels for one of the last times at the coffee shop on East University Drive. Coffee Plantation will be closing its last remaining branch tomorrow.
By Brooke Garbisch
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Jan. 15, 2002
Students say they will miss casual atmosphere
A popular UA hangout is closing its doors tomorrow after a five-year stint on East University Drive.
The Coffee Plantation, 845 E. University Drive, was the last remaining Coffee Plantation store. The chain once operated several stores throughout Phoenix and Tucson, but its parent company, Diedrich Coffee, has shut all of them down.
The rent at the site, which is just a five-minute walk from Old Main, is also "astronomical," said manager Raina York.
Students said they enjoy going to Coffee Plantation because of its no-minimum policy, which allows people to spend unlimited time in the store without purchasing anything.
"I like this particular place because they have food and coffee," physiology senior Scott Owen said. "You can sit for hours without anybody bothering you. I am sorry it's closing."
Not only are the UA students who spend hours studying or talking in the friendly environment being affected, but approximately 15 students lost their jobs due to the store's closure.
York, who was informed about the closure at the beginning of January, was instructed by her superiors to give the employees only two days' notice to seek other employment. However, she negotiated with her superiors and was able to give them a full week.
There are no closing signs posted on the interior or exterior of the store. Coffee Plantation management decided that because most of their patrons are regulars, signs would have been impersonal.
Instead, when customers, particularly those who employees know by name, step up to the register, they are informed personally that the store is closing.
Linguistics senior Sachiko Aso goes to Coffee Plantation four or five times a week between classes to relax or to study when she gets tired of being at the library. She likes it better than the Starbucks across the street because, "It's small over there."
"I love their coffee," said political science sophomore Mike Gilliland, who was taking advantage of the calm atmosphere on Monday while waiting for a meeting. "It's cheaper than Starbucks."
York said the store has "had a great run" and that she has enjoyed being a part of a company near the university.
Anyone who has a Coffee Plantation gift certificate and is unable to redeem it before tomorrow can deposit it like a check directly into his or her bank account.
Questions about this policy can be directed to Diedrich's corporate office at (800) 354-5282.