Eagles’ Nest makes the change to Crimson Cup coffee

Gracie Wilson, AU-LIVE MANAGING EDITOR

Over the last few weeks, students have likely noticed a change when they open their Grubhub app to order from the Eagles Nest. Ashland University’s dining services team has decided to bid adieu to Starbucks coffee and make the change to an Ohio-owned brand, Crimson Cup.

While the change seems sudden to students, this is something that has been in the works since Fall of 2019, Fred Geib, Director of Dining Services at AU, explained.

“There’s the retail Starbucks, like you have out at [interstate] 71, then there’s ‘we proudly serve Starbucks,’ which is what we had,” Geib said.

According to Geib, Nestle bought out the “we proudly serve Starbucks” portion of the company, so the product orders were being handled through a new provider.

This change in provider soon became what pushed AU to change providers for their Eagles Nest Café options.

“We were having issues,” Geib said. “Fall of 2019, products were running out. It was a service nightmare from Nestle, and they didn’t care.”

Over time, problems continued to arise as products were delayed or lost. After approaching Nestle about the lost items, dining services were told to order them again, Geib said.

The products didn’t begin showing up until Spring 2020.

“One of the deliveries came the week prior to shutdown [for] spring break,” he said. “We’re not talking a couple hundred dollars’ worth of product; we’re talking about $15-thousand worth of product.”

In light of the shipping issues and the arrival of products much later than anticipated, dining services reached out to Nestle to remedy the problem.

“We contacted Nestle and said, ‘we want credit back for all this product because it’s going to expire.’ [They] would not do it, [they said] it’s contaminated,” Geib said.

Though the boxes were shipped and none of the product was touched by employees or used due to the Spring shutdown of campus for COVID-19, the products were not taken back.

“At that point, I said that any vendor that did not respond to our request for refunds or taking product back, were going to be gone at some point,” Geib said.

Since the Starbucks chain is widely recognized and favored, Eagles Nest knew that the changes would bring a lot of reaction from the students.

“We knew we were going to catch some flak for getting rid of Starbucks,” Geib said. “If you’re a diehard Starbucks fan, you’re a diehard Starbucks fan.”

While the change may have come as a surprise to students, Geib feels that switching to Crimson Cup was the best move and will not change much of what happens at Eagles Nest.

“Some of the flavor profiles might [have] a little variation but they have everything that Starbucks has, it’s just a different name,” he said. “You can’t call something a Frappuccino because they’ve trademarked that name.”

The change to Crimson Cup also gave AU the chance to make a change to more local sources for the services they provide their students.

“[Crimson Cup is a] reputable company…they’re local, they’re in Ohio, they roast in Columbus—they’re great partners,” Geib said.

The change in coffee suppliers is also a chance for students to get creative with their coffee choices. Crimson Cup gives vendors the chance to change up the recipes slightly to cater to what the customer wants.

To learn more about Ohio owned Crimson Cup coffee, visit www.crimsoncup.com and see what the newest partner of AU is all about.

“Starbucks has brand recognition, we know that,” Geib said. “But I think going forward, Crimson Cup will be the right choice for us.”