Ask Bwog: Why Butler Blue Java Costs More

Written by

With less than a month to go in the semester, we at Bwog are among the many converging on Butler. If you’ve forgotten to sneak food and drink in, though (a course we recommend do not endorse), your only source of caffeinated comfort is Blue Java. Strangely, though, the Butler Blue Java prices are even higher than its other locations around campus. Bwog contributor (and longtime coffee muckraker) Jon Hill investigated, only to have Housing and Dining say “We understand your concerns. Please note the prices are a bit higher in Butler due to higher expenses.”

Oh really? How specific! But just what are these higher expenses, pray tell?

Our perseverance got us forwarded onto Michael Novielli, chief of administration of Student Auxiliary and Business Services. Already having been briefed on the company line, Novielli was ready to give us all the details. “The main and only reason is that our cost of doing business at Butler Library is higher. It’s an agreement Dining Services has with the University Libraries and I can’t comment any more than that, but our costs of doing business at Butler are about 10 percent higher.” Novielli refused to comment on any specifics behind the increase, although we’re pretty sure the real reason starts with “m” and ends with “-onopoly.”

Tags: ,


  1. isnt there

    a law in new york that restricts inflated pricing at one particular store location (i remember seeing a sign that said as much at the au bon pain in JFK airport)?

  2. Hmmm

    I dunno, but Novi's explanation sorta makes sense; it depends if the cost of materials (production expenses, other equipment that Blue Java has there) is higher. It may also be due to the fact that Blue Java has its own room (and may pay a higher rent)...

    I dunno, I wonder if Jim Neal (head of CU Libraries) could have a better answer...

  3. disneyworld

    I guess walking into Butler is kind of like walking into an amusement park. You can't bring drinks, if you want one you have to pay up, and the quality is usually poor.

  4. i've  

    only been to blue java in butler once and will never go again... paid a ridiculous amount for a caffe latte only for them to hand me a cup of steamed milk. when i pointed this out, i was laughed at and told i had to pour in my own coffee from their coffee station... wtf? i should have just ordered a coffee and added some of the free milk and paid half the price.

  5. I believe  

    the phrase you're looking for is "captive market".

    Also, I'm pretty sure that Blue Java is run by Columbia itself, isn't it? Then again the fact that Columbia charges itself rent doesn't shock me, considering the feudal lord mentality that pervades each division of this school...

    • Aha

      Yeah, Blue Java IS Columbia's creation. Then maybe the cost of running a business is in terms of the business model?
      (i.e., getting the raw materials in from the beans to the other stuff they sell and the process of making the stuff)
      Then again, they seem to have a similar size to work with verus the Starbucks across Lerner...

  6. ...  

    i'm pretty sure the real reason starts with "m" and ends with "-ediocracy."

  7. theory

    10% is due to the cost of accessing super-secret special locker rooms and insurance to make sure the fancy wood and marble doesn't get damaged.

  8. Blah

    Butler Blue Java is the only place I've ever complained about a cup of coffee. This summer I was studying in the library and wanted a cup of iced coffee. So, I order and get a cup that is only half way filled...then I realize there is a crack in the cup causing it to leak a lot of coffee everywhere. I point this out...the woman, instead of making me a new cup (this one is about 1/3 full) just hands me a new cup...incredible.



  10. expenses...

    Of course, they don't have to pay rent, if I'm not mistaken, or property taxes.

  11. well  

    They charge more because they can. The whole property tax and rent is BS since CU ends up owning both anyways. That is their lawful excuse.
    They can charge that much because will pay that much; you can't bring in drinks, and you need caffeine to stay up till 5 am.

  12. frustrated user  

    could bwog find another way of verifying the posts besides describing the color in one word?
    I am kind of color blind and I often get it wrong on the first try. Pisses me off cause the colors are never perfectly yellow or green or blue, but lighter tones.
    use fucking words like all the other websites!!

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.