Darden First Coffee Gets an Overhaul
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Darden First Coffee Gets an Overhaul

Good morning Darden! Let’s kick this First Coffee
by giving a warm welcome to Dean Beardsley. Good morning, everybody. I’m sorry, I’ve lost my voice. Coffee is a tradition
everywhere, as far as I know. But at UVA, our own Thomas
Jefferson once said, “coffee is the drink of
the civilized world.” And in 1824 when he said
that, soon after he found the university, it then moved
to 1955, where legend has it that First Coffee started
even before the first class. And then it quickly
became a tradition launched by Dean Abbott right
in Monroe hall at the time, and has since evolved to
something that we’ve always done. In fact, some other
business schools have even tried to
copy it as a tradition. So today, what
we’re trying to do is to unveil what
we hope is taking First Coffee to the next level. And we’ve involved a lot
of you in the thinking, so hopefully, some of
you had your opportunity to participate in the
surveys that we sent out, getting all the data gathering,
the ideas, what should we be eating, what
should we be drinking, how can we make the
First Coffee better. And we listened to you. So here’s what we heard. First of all, you told us that
we need to have better coffee. Actually, I agree with that. When I came here
for the first time, I thought that maybe we
could have better coffee. So the task force ran a
blind taste test and you guys have been tasting some of the
new coffee, Shenandoah Joe’s for the last few months. So that was the first step, is
you’ve got to have good coffee. You told us that
it gets too crowded here in the Pepsi forum. So in just a moment, I’m
going to step out of the way and show you that we’re
extending First Coffee to parts of the south lounge to
spread out the space and make it easier to
hear to each other. We heard that some of you
would like a little nutrition in the morning, so we’re going
to start offering apples, bananas, and oranges every day. We also learned
that sometimes, you need something a little special
to get your day started. So we’re introducing espresso
machines for a perfect morning espresso, and we’ll
have croissants from Hot Cakes once a
week every Wednesday. So that’s another change. We also were reminded that
we’re all not coffee drinkers. And by the way, I think
I just realized Puneet, I didn’t mention you. But you were on the
task force as well. And Puneet mentioned
for example, some people don’t
like to drink coffee. Maybe we could have
something else there. So we’ve added Chai tea
to our selection of teas. And we’ve also learned
that lengthy speeches are something that you
don’t like, so I’m going to wrap it up here. So I’d just like to also
add one more thank you, and that is to the people that
do First Coffee every day. Every day, we have people that
come behind the scenes early in the morning,
they set things up, and then after we’ve gone
away back to our classrooms or wherever we work at
Darden, they put it away. And I’d like to thank the
whole team that Puneet leads and the entire
Abbott dining room crowd for what they do at
First Coffee all year round. [APPLAUSE] So I would say now, we’re
pretty much ready to go for it. So let’s enjoy First Coffee. And let us know what
you think, because this is a continuous
improvement process. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]

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