Coffeestamp, the coffee roaster known for specialty beans and made-from-scratch baked goods in St. Louis’ Fox Park neighborhood, recently opened its second location in Washington University in St. Louis’ Hillman Hall. Brothers Spencer and Patrick Clapp moved into the former Grounds for Change space, and their arrival is another big win for the university’s supplier diversity strategy.
“You taste their food, and when you meet the owners, you really want to support them,” said Janelle Turner, director of supplier diversity at the university. “I couldn’t be more excited that they’re here. Coffeestamp represents a benchmark for women and other minority-owned businesses to support the needs of WashU.”
The Clapps, who grew up in Honduras, are equally enthusiastic to have a second home at the university.
“We are so thankful for the opportunity we received to be part of WashU,” Patrick Clapp said. “And to everyone who had supported us, from our first customers at the Soulard Farmers Market stand, to our neighbors at the Fox Park Neighborhood, and now the staff and students at WashU: thanks for making this dream a reality. It’s been a long and not-so-easy journey for us to be here, and it has been incredible to serve you.”
The decision to bring Coffeestamp to campus was a deliberate one and began during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dining Services partnered with Supplier Diversity to be thoughtful about what we brought to Hillman,” said Claire Conroy, special events coordinator for dining services and operations. “For the past two years, we’ve been thinking about a new opportunity to bring into that space.”
Coffeestamp became part of the conversation after an introduction facilitated by Thompson Hospitality during Hispanic Heritage Month last September. The country’s largest minority-owned food service and facilities management company, Thompson identifies and connects diverse-owned businesses with universities and institutions nationwide. Thompson Hospitality works with WashU’s Danforth Campus dining program through its relationship with Bon Appétit.
They’re a perfect fit for the Brown School’s Grounds for Change space.Janelle Turner, director of supplier diversity
“Coffeestamp brought samples over and that really started the relationship,” Turner said. “They had a great product. The owners were awesome, and we began to ask how we could start to utilize them more around campus. They’re a perfect fit for the Brown School’s Grounds for Change space.”
The university’s efforts to increase supplier diversity through purchasing and procurement processes are paying off: In fiscal year 2022, the university spent more than $79 million with regional diverse-owned businesses and engaged with more than 500 of them on a national level, including construction firms, computer equipment providers and food service providers such as Coffeestamp.
Turner said the WashU community will see even more similar engagements moving forward across campus operations.
“We have to do more,” Turner said. “We’re committed to doing more. I expect a lot of additional partnerships across multiple areas, multiple industries, and that we will show up a lot bigger and brighter than what we have in the past.”
Coffeestamp is open at Hillman Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. To learn more about Coffeestamp, visit their website. To learn more about the university’s efforts to support diverse businesses, or to find one for a university project or event, visit the supplier diversity website.