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Cliff Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

Operation Save The Grove

   
     

The Grove Caffe’s going out of business? Surely not! In fact it was a close thing, but the campus institution is getting one last chance before turning off its espresso machines forever.

Twenty-one years ago, A.S. Enterprises decided to launch this welcoming hangout as a student-run, student-operated business. The fledgling Grove grew into a campus oasis, where customers and employees stretched out afternoons of philosophical conversations over lattes and espressos.

But in recent years, harsh economic reality challenged this languid academic Shangri-La. After manager and founder Ron Carlson gave up his 50 percent share of the business, the Grove’s debt more than doubled from $23,000 to $48,000. As a result, the A.S. Council initially discussed closing the café and replacing it with another business, but finally decided on one last-ditch effort. They launched a partnership with the Rady School of Management, which will advise the Grove with a new business plan.

Sydney Goldberg, ERC ’07, the associate vice president of A.S. Enterprises, met with Clark Jordan, Rady School assistant dean, in May, and they decided that several students should work directly with the management school to create a new business plan by fall. Jordan says that the Grove, with the help of a Rady graduate student, has surveyed the market and customers to find out how to increase sales and improve the low expenditure per customer. Over the summer, the café closed its doors to implement changes and, for the moment, the Grove is still with us. However, in the future, the A.S. Council may have to face a difficult decision if the business fails to turn a profit.

Cliff Notes written by Neda Oreizy, ’08

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"...the Grove, with the help of a Rady graduate student, has surveyed the market and customers to find out how to increase sales and improve the low expenditure per customer. "