Starbucks Planned for Downtown Alma

College Corner transitions from the college-owned Stucchi’s café to a Starbucks franchise operated by Sodexo. During the summer renovations, the bookstore will be temporarily relocated to the Clack Art Center.

Renovations to the building that houses the Alma College Bookstore on Superior Street in Alma will begin in June for the addition of a Starbucks coffee shop, with a tentative opening of the franchise by September.

Starbucks will take over the space previously held by the college-owned Stucchi’s Ice Cream Shop, which closed May 31 after operating for five years at the College Corner location.

During Construction, Bookstore To Be Temporarily Relocated

The space allocation within the building between the bookstore and the café will not change. Because of the construction dust and safety issues, the bookstore will be temporarily relocated to the Clack Art Center while the café remodel takes place.

“We are excited about reaching an agreement with our partners that will bring Starbucks into downtown Alma,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “We believe Starbuck’s strong national brand will have a positive impact on the campus and the community.”

Bookstore/Cafe To Be Renamed Alma College Bookstore and Starbucks

The Starbucks’ franchise will operate independently from Alma College under the auspices of Sodexo, the college’s long-time food-service provider. Sodexo will bear the renovation costs of the building, which is currently known as College Corner Coffee and Books but will be renamed the Alma College Bookstore and Starbucks. This Starbucks location will be comparable in operation to other Starbucks, including menu options and hours.

The bookstore, which offers textbooks for students and general books, college apparel and supplies for the public, will continue to be owned and operated by Alma College.

Store Location Bridges College Campus with Downtown Alma

Alma College purchased the former Kentwood Pharmacy building at the corner of Superior Street and Wright Avenue in January 2011 for the purpose of relocating its bookstore operation and providing a new home for Stucchi’s, which was destroyed in the October 2010 Alma Opera House fire. The college acquired the business following the fire.

“From the time we purchased the building five years ago, we envisioned this space as a place for everyone, campus and community, open to all, linking the Alma downtown area with the college,” says Abernathy. “This remains our vision. Unfortunately, Stucchi’s has not been financially viable, and the college has had to cover expenses. This has led us to the decision to transition to Starbucks.”

Story published on June 01, 2016