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By Alieu Turay
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – A new café has begun its second semester of operation in Taft Hall.

The café was moved from the Connector Building to the first floor near the main entrance of Taft Hall, the student services center, this winter. The move was made to provide convenience to the students and workers of Camden County College, said Racheal Palumbo, general manager of Camden County College Dining Services.

Two years ago, dining services tracked the sales at the Starbucks Café in the Connector Building and found they were low. Also, Palumbo said, the café was in the same building as the Cougar Café, whose menu has many more items than the Starbucks Café.

Finding a busy location for the new café was important, Palumbo stated. The majority of students have classes on the west side of campus, which includes Halpern, Truman and Lincoln halls, so placing a small café in Taft Hall, which students usually pass, would be a wise choice. Also, the café would suit the staff members who work in the admissions and financial aid offices in Taft Hall, so they would no longer have to walk a longer distance for small meals.

Transitioning the café from the Connector Building to Taft Hall posed little to no problem and happened at no cost to the college. The vendors who served the café in the Connector Building moved their services to Taft Hall and college facilities workers built a larger kiosk to provide additional space for the employees of the café to display items. By winter 2019, the Taft Student Services Café opened.

New items were added to the menu of the Taft Student Services Café to accommodate customers. The café now offers gluten-free snacks, grab-and-go snacks, and gourmet pastries, according to the Camden County College website. A Nescafe machine is also there, Palumbo noted.

Palumbo said she plans to add more food items to the menu by occasionally offering the students samples and then gauging their feedback to help decide whether to place the items on the menu.

Joshua Counts, a Camden County College student, said he likes the new café.

“I think the café is a good place for students,” Counts said Monday. “It’s a place that students can eat, study and just hang out.”

The Taft Student Services Café is on the first floor of Taft Hall on the Blackwood campus. By Alieu Turay, CCC Journalism Program

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