In 2015, we were fortunate enough to open our first cafe on the beautiful campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then we've grown more and more enamored by the city, campus, and most importantly the people. Today we're taking a moment to talk a little more about the university, our cafes, and the great people serving great coffee in Atlanta.
A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY OF EMORY
The moment you step on campus at Emory, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. With 600 acres of rolling green space, Italian Renaissance styled buildings mixed with modern architecture, and a peaceful nature preserve with the ruins of century-old powerstation in an old growth forest, history and cutting edge research combine into an ideal learning environment.
Emory’s rich history extends back to its founding in 1836, but over one hundred years later, in 1947, Emory sold a tract of its campus for a token $10 payment to the federal government. This sale began a mutually beneficial relationship with what would grow to become the modern day CDC. With Atlanta’s top-ranked hospital, CDC research partnerships, and Emory University Hospital’s groundbreaking Communicable Disease Unit, Emory has become a local and global powerhouse. We’re proud to be a part of this diverse community of talent.
KALDI'S ON EMORY
Six years ago, Kaldi’s Coffee arrived at Emory’s Dobb’s University Center (DUC), as part of Emory’s initiative to bolster their campus’ culinary integrity and move away from a reliance on national chains. We were thrilled for the opportunity to begin a chapter in a new city and opened in the fall of 2015. The DUC has since closed to make way for the Emory Student Center, but we have been fortunate enough to open more spaces on this beautiful campus.
Then, in 2016, Kaldi’s Coffee partnered with Emory to transform an old train depot into a full cafe, creating a cozy, red-bricked oasis for the busy students, faculty, and visitors on Emory’s main campus. As our presence has grown with the addition of two other locations, the Depot has become our home base on campus and remains a romantic gathering place that feels like an otherworldly escape, while remaining a short walk from hectic class schedules and research facilities.
With a full kitchen, a bank of booths, tables for two or six, and a large covered deck nestled against idyllic, shaded train tracks, it’s no wonder we often hear from alumni telling us how much they love and miss the Depot. Keeping up with Emory’s student life isn’t easy, so the Depot stays open until 10pm on weekdays and midnight on the weekends.
THE EMORY STUDENT CENTER
When Emory decided to tear down the DUC, we couldn’t wait to see what they had planned as their new campus hub. The Emory Student Center (the ESC), the gleaming heart of campus, that holds our newest cafe, seems a world away from the Depot, though it’s actually just about fifty feet from our old location at the DUC. Wrapped inside the newly constructed glass and steel center, this cafe is sharp and modern, filled with light and a constant stream of students on the go.
Inside, leather banquets, a lounge area, and more traditional cafe seating surround a low, wide bar and pour over station that lets light cross the cafe by remaining open on three sides. Step outside to the patio and you’ll realize you’re perched above athletic fields, with views across campus and down onto busy paths, for classic cafe people watching.
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Away from the thrum of main campus life, our cafe in the globally rated Emory University School of Medicine serves some of the busiest students and researchers on campus. This cafe packs a mean punch with a small footprint. We bake pastries daily at the Depot and deliver them to the SOM, while offering a full drink menu and a cold case with grab drinks to keep the building powered through their stressful days.
TODAY AND ONWARD
Due to COVID, only the Depot remained open during all of 2020, operating with a light, powerhouse team. All students left campus at the beginning of the COVID outbreak in 2020, then 20% returned in August 2020, but we’re thrilled that the full return of students to campus this fall has meant the re-opening of all three locations.
Their fearless leader, Jordan Higgs, and his leadership team have stepped up to hire dozens of new team members in the late summer weeks. Jordan visited the Roastery and cafes in Saint Louis in July to prepare, then returned to train and equip his team with the tools to set them up for success. It’s also been a company-wide effort, with weekly trips by the leadership team and trainers down to Atlanta. With all three cafes open and welcoming guests, we’re thrilled to have made it through together and to welcome back students, faculty, and all of Atlanta to Emory University.
The train tracks by the Depot cafe in Atlanta, GA
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- The People and Teams of Kaldi's | Kaldi's Coffee Blog Series
- Designing a Kaldi's Coffee Cafe | Kaldi's Coffee Blog