Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
Alaina McConnell Contributor
The Richardson Room café, recently renamed Delux Esto Café, is attempting to serve up a dose of school spirit this year with a new branding initiative and more student friendly service options.
“It’s been going through a bit of an identity change every year,” Susan Matheson, the Sodexo General Manager, said referring to the cafés transition over the last four years from Jazzman’s, to Stacks, and finally to Delux Esto.
Sodexo is looking to ease that transition by connecting more with the student body in particular and with Kalamazoo College as a whole this year, Matheson said .
Already, a new sign hangs over the café pulling together the name, Delux Esto, with the new “K” logo stamped onto a mug of steaming coffee.
The name—a play on “K’s” mantra, “Lux Esto”—reflects school spirit, coined by alumna Anna Witte ’12. Witte’s was the winner of Sodexo’s Richardson Room cafe re-naming competition last winter.
In addition, the staff at Delux Esto Café now dons black and orange themed uniforms and soon, hours of operation both at the café and at the Old Welles Dining Hall will be more accommodating to students’ needs, Matheson said.
“We really try to provide everything the students want,” Jody Brookman, the Delux Esto daytime supervisor, said. “We enjoy their business and I hope they enjoy what we do for them,” she said.
Student opinion is generally positive regarding the service and food quality. Conrad Liu ’13 said he eats there for convenience sake while Grace Kelley ’13 said that the sandwiches are “even better than Subway.”
However, some upperclassmen expressed that repeated turnover in the space of the Richardson Room café has created disconnect within the campus community.
Lily Rothschild ’14 who is currently off campus did not realize the name had changed and, like many of her peers, still refers to the café as Stacks.
“I honestly think it hurts more than it helps the school spirit,” Kelley, who was employed by Jazzman’s her freshman year, said. “So much change makes it hard to identify with one space.”
Matheson said she understands how students must feel about a space in flux and ideally wants to promise more stability. However, with Sodexo’s contract up for bid this year, students may find that the Richardson Room café could undergo even more change.