At the beginning of this year, those who walked into the Ringling’s gift shop for their caffeine fix from the cafe upstairs were surprised. The coffee shop, formerly a Starbucks, is now a locally owned coffee and tea company called Joffrey’s. Don’t fret, though – students still get the 10 percent discount that is known and loved.
“It happened in July, under new ownership with Tableside Company,” Mario Orduno, who has worked at the Ringling cafe for almost four years, said. Not only is the upstairs cafe different, but also the restaurant downstairs has changed to Muse.
“It’s getting the local vibe, the local feel,” Orduno explained. “That’s why Tableside took the contract – because they were local.”
Orduno said response from customers has been positive. “You still got your Starbucks people who really enjoy their Starbucks, but they come around once they taste the [Joffrey’s] coffee, they really, really enjoy it.”
Joffrey’s menu features everything from iced mocha to a selection of delectable baked goods. Just travel down Bay Shore a few yards past the Jane Bancroft Library to the Ringling entrance. Inside is the ticket counter adjacent to a gift shop. Walk through the gift shop to find the stairs, which lead to Joffrey’s. A nice off-campus study spot, there is Wi-Fi, comfy chairs and a view of the picturesque Ca’d’Zan property.
“The coffee tastes better [because] it’s brewed in smaller batches, so it’s not in big bags that we get that sit in the back for weeks and weeks,” Orduno said. “We get it weekly, fresh.”