Some stubborn UNC Chapel Hill students take on Barnes and Noble.
Take a long, hard look at that GIF. That right there is legendary Roy Williams after he finds out some of his Tar Heels started dominating the local coffee business. Let me tell you a little story about some college students with a vision (sorry gramps, 20-year-olds are way more interesting). So sit back, relax, and let’s get brewin’.
For 23 years, a place called the Daily Grind was a staple for caffeine addicts at UNC Chapel Hill. But unfortunately, their lease was set to expire. An era of beany greatness was coming to an end. Barnes and Noble was in talks to start taking over on-campus food and beverage options. But some students had a problem with that.
Led by Lauren Eves and Scott Diekema, a group of students entered the college's entrepreneurship competition. They won. UNC Chapel Hill had sold most of its soul to corporatism, but after sweet talking some of the administration, students convinced the school to rent them a space (eat it, Barnes and Noble).
They purchased old equipment from the Grind, partnered with a local supplier, and set out to start Meantime Coffee Co. It’s motto? “Tar Heel Born. Tar Heel Brewed.” The money it makes is taken and put directly into scholarships and grants for students. Plus, The founders believed the coffee shop should forever be student-run (from barista to CEO). The students do the hiring, the students do the firing, and the students make the coffee. Just like a president, after four years, you either go to grad school or you step aside. Some say this was the foundation of American politics (Accurate? I think yes). Go Heels.
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