Wanna grab pizza at “Saucy and Bossy?” Or how about a sandwich at “Lunch Meat Baby One More Time?” Coffee at “Pour Some Sugar On Me?”
In approximately 12 to 18 months, eating and drinking at these destinations will be a possibility, as many “Cohoians” are in the process of naming the seven platforms in the new and improved Coffee House. Plans for the expansion are currently being finalized and construction is scheduled to begin in June of 2009.
The Coho has held two naming sessions so far – one over the summer and one last Tuesday. Coho director Sharon Coulson advised participants to consider how and where the food is made as well as its ingredients when suggesting names.
“The names are important in giving the Coho an identity,” Coulson said. “We’re proud of what we do here and we want the names to tell our story.“
The new Coho will include a bakery, coffee stand, Tex-Mex grill, pizza and pasta counter, hot food line, salad and sandwich deli, bagel stand, sushi rolls and pho noodles. Attendees split up into several groups to brainstorm their ideas for naming the different platforms.
“It was funny to come up with sexual innuendos for the platforms,” said Joe Chung, a junior psychology major and Coho employee. “My favorite was ‘Hot, Steamy and Sticky‘ for the pho and sushi platform.“
Coulson’s objective in holding the naming sessions was to ensure that the Coho retains a student voice in the new setup. Though she discouraged inappropriate names, the sessions were lighthearted and attendees offered catchy titles along with Coffee House anecdotes.
No final decisions on any of the names were made; however, Coulson believes that there are now enough suggestions to start thinking seriously about final titles. At that point, she will again ask employees to offer their input.
Many of the participants were actual employees at the Coho and saw the naming session as an opportunity to make a lasting influence on the future Coho, even after they graduate.
“I’m creating a legacy!” Chung said. “We’re putting ourselves into the Coho and it really shows how distinct of a student population we are.“
Construction for the new Coho will last approximately six to 12 months. During that time, it will be closed and alternate places to eat throughout the MU and campus will substitute.
When finished, the centralized cafeteria-like setup will expand to about 26,665 square feet. The plan will ensure consumers better access to food and employees more room in the kitchen.
“We’re hoping it won’t look like a Dinning Common,” said Missy Whitney, third year biotechnology major and kitchen supervisor at the Coho. “It will be a lot more efficient and will shine a bit more.“
Apart from the students naming the platforms in the Coho, officials are attempting to include student input in as many areas as they can. Some employees were allowed to view the blueprints and give feedback.
“The student activism is what makes the Coho unique,” Whitney said. “I certainly hope they can carry on that tradition.“
In addition to employee input, there is also a suggestion box in the Coho by the piano, wherein consumers are encouraged to give their input, be it names for the platforms or overall concerns about current Coho activities.
“It’s obvious that a lot of care and love goes into this coffee house,” Coulson said. “Names like ‘oven lovin‘ and ‘cohomade‘ just go to show that people and employees have an emotional connection here that we hope will translate to the new setup.“
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at email@example.com.