After several years spent in Shatner 103, Caférama finally closed its doors on March 13 – several months after initially intended – as negotiations wound down between its replacement, Café Supreme, and SSMU.
The vacated Caférama space has been emptied of tables, chairs, and appliances, and awaits renovations set to commence in June. Café Supreme will be fully operational in July if all goes as planned, according to Café Supreme’s Marketing Manager Aisha Khabyyr.
The details of the negotiations between SSMU and Café Supreme, however, are still confidential, in part because not all aspects of the deal have been finalized, Khabyyr added in an email.
Previous commitments will still be honoured, however, including a provision of up to $5,000 in products at student events – such as Frosh – and a donation to improve the adjoining student lounge with their start-up costs. The café has also committed itself to hiring students, provided there is enough interest.
Khabyyr noted that Café Supreme intends to offer a wide variety of affordable products, including grab-n-go lunches and specialty coffees. The company is also committed to socially responsible practices – including the use of recyclable cups, unbleached napkins, and discounts for students who bring their own mugs.
Last April, Café Supreme won the lease to Shatner 103 in a controversial SSMU council decision – 13 to 12 – over a student-run space.
The student initiative didn’t have as detailed and clear a proposal as the corporate entity, according to José Diaz, next year’s VP Finance & Operations.
Last October SSMU President Kay Turner said that there weren’t adequate resources on campus to give interested students information on operations of student-run food services.
Noting this, Turner said in October that a research group would be started to investigate situations at other universities, and compile a report with their recommendations to the McGill community.
Now, five months later, Turner said the process is just getting started.
“It will be a long-term and ongoing project that could be taken up by future executives. This is more of a planning year,” Turner wrote. “Should a student-run food service be a feasible option, we would more likely be looking at the spaces which will be coming available in the building on the second floor in the coming years, or evaluating other non-occupied spaces in the building.”