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Boise State looks at four locally-owned ideas for former Big City/Starbucks space at library


Boise State Dining Services started the search for a new vendor to go into the coffee shop space at Albertsons Library.

The space used to host a Starbucks location, and later a short run for Big City Coffee. Big City closed shortly after it opened, which led to a tort claim from Big City that could lead to litigation against Boise State.

The school will consider four finalists for the location. Dining Services hosted a webinar earlier this month to give the vendors a chance to pitch their concept. Each is locally-owned.

  • Guru Donuts
  • Poppy Seed Bakery + Café
  • Push & Pour
  • Urban Fox Coffee & Boba

Each of the concepts pitched how they would use the space and serve students. Some of the questions centered around how to handle rush periods in between classes – and the vendors all said they would adjust from their primary local locations to add more options like grab and go, online ordering, staffing techniques and more to help handle the ups and downs of the location.

What makes each unique?

Each potential vendor said what made their concept unique.

“Not only do we offer coffee, we offer something different on our menu which is our boba tea menu,” Haena Cho with Urban Fox said. “It is gaining popularity here in the Boise area. It’s very popular with the younger generations. It’s not coffee but it’s tea so it’ll be something different for those that don’t drink coffee.”

“College is the first time (students) are able to grow and expand,” Brennan Conroy with Push and Pour said. “With Push and Pour, our experience having this rich art history and this outreach that we are able to provide, it’s an awesome collaboration with students who are looking for something different, along with great coffee, service, and food items.”

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“The atmosphere I really try and make everybody that walks in the door feel like they’re our friends,” Kimberly Castor with Poppy Seed Bakery + Café said. “(It’s) Super warm and welcoming. I would definitely say my deep dish quiche is very unique. It’s not what a lot of people think of quiche and it’s really really popular.”

“Guru Donuts started out of a garage in the North End almost ten years ago, and we are here to show the BSU students that really with a dream you can do almost anything,” Krystle McLaughlin with Guru Donuts said. “We’re known for our nationaly award-winning donuts and we’ve just really grown as a community staple that people travel here to try.

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The school’s dining vendor Aramark controls the space, according to prior reporting from The Arbiter. Starbucks closed after the onset of the pandemic.

The school surveyed students on their choice for the location, but no decision has been announced, according to one of the finalists. The new concept should open in time for the new school year in September.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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