Returning to campus this fall, students may have noticed the university isn’t quite how they left it last spring: new faces, new blooms, and of course, new construction. A bit less visible was Campus Grounds’ decision to switch to Krankies coffee.
Krankies, is a local coffee roaster/café/arts venue/small business incubator in downtown Winston-Salem. You may have seen a shiny Airstream trailer permanently parked alongside Reynolda Road—that’s Krankies’s satellite location. Aside from their unconventional venues, what sets them (and their coffee)apart from competitors is the fact that they roast their own beans daily with the help of their own, “vintage gas-fired drum roaster.”
The result is a “sweet yet savory, nuanced yet purposeful blend,” or at least that’s what one Campus Grounds coffee drinker told me. Krankies describes the blend that Campus Grounds serves by saying, “the Boiler [blend] is a light to medium roasted coffee blend hailing from Central America. The sweet, nutty candy-like notes complement the bright, classic flavors of this blend.” It makes more sense once you’ve tried it.
The decision to switch to Krankies has not only pleased the coffee connoisseurs on campus but also those who care about sustainability. By switching to a bean that’s finished by a small roaster across town instead of say, by a large roaster across the country, shops can reduce the carbon footprint of the coffee and support the local economy. This is no coincidence. Student Manager Melody Petulla told us that Campus Grounds has long sought to minimize their impact on the environment. In keeping with this principle, Melody makes sure their varieties of tea are fair trade as well as organic. I also learned that the blue Campus Grounds mug I purchased last year is not only reusable but compostable.
According to Melody, the decision to switch to locally roasted coffee had to make sense not only environmentally, but economically. “I’m a business major,” she explained. Not only are the beans finished locally, which supports the local economy, but they are also more economical, which enhances the bottom line of this student-run campus enterprise. Campus Grounds is, in a sense, ultra-local. The coffee shop is entirely run and staffed by Wake Forest students and, of course, is located on campus grounds. Melody also plans to add some pieces of ultra-local art from the Wake Forest Studio Art Department. According to Melody, Campus Grounds strives to be as local as possible.