At the start of 8:30 a.m. classes, the signature scent of classic coffee, teas, and pastries linger on the first floor of the Great Hall Monday through Friday. This comes from Parson’s Café, a newer coffee spot that students and faculty adore. Between the infinite customizations, specials, and recommendations by the baristas behind the counter, Parson’s Café makes a perfect addition to this historic building.
Whenever students walk into the café, they are greeted by the familiar face who usually makes their drink. That person is Jennifer Cabral, who truly cares about students and treats them like her own. Her positive energy and personality can easily make a student’s day. If a student is having a bad day, her spirit can easily uplift at any time.
Cabral said, “My favorite part about working here are the students. I get to interact with them and find out where they are at. They tell me their business, stories, and we ask each other about our weekends and days.”
Students are also thrilled to get their orders from Parson’s Café. It’s one of the go-to spots for Monmouth’s student body because they also offer a variety of pastries, a soup special, and non-coffee beverages. With some students and staff who are frequent customers, Cabral will guess their order before they even begin speaking.
Sherly Gonzalez, a sophomore business management and marketing student, said, “I absolutely just love walking into Parson’s Café and immediately receiving a warm welcome. I love having conversations with them while I wait for my coffee and they are always so enthusiastic.”
Gonzalez continued, “I have a major sweet tooth and they’re always happy to give me bakery recommendations. I appreciate when Jenn always ends with ‘try it and make sure it’s perfect.’ There’s just a sense of comfort in that. It’s the little things that just make your day and these ladies definitely help me start my day with a smile.”
One of students’ favorite parts of Parson’s Café is that they let you try your drink before you leave. Other places like Starbucks and Dunkin leave you to assume your drink is okay. This personal touch makes students go back, because the drink will ultimately be perfect.
With Parson’s Café being in the historic Great Hall, students can enjoy the beautiful study space. Many students fill the Great Hall daily, so having a small coffee shop gives students the experience of enjoying their specialty drinks and the art of the Great Hall.
Enjoying a specialty drink and studying in a relaxing space can help students mentally, boosting productivity. The natural sunlight makes people happier and more motivated to do work. Since the Great Hall gets sunlight from all angles, using the building as a study space and enjoying your drink is a great idea.
Some also may want a different place to work other than a library. By working in Parson’s Café, you will always have the baristas behind you to share words of encouragement or make you laugh if you are having a bad day. If you also need a caffeine pick-me-up, having coffee readily available can help with staying on top of the work that has to get done.
Gonzalez shared, “As a commuter, the Great Hall has become my favorite study spot in between classes. Parson’s Café was a great addition to the building and fits perfectly. It [Parson’s Café] fits the whole aesthetic of the Great Hall itself.”
Starting in January of this semester, there has been a monthly special at this cozy café. Last month featured a cinnamon roll latte, while this month features a chocolate covered strawberry flavored beverage. These specials encourage students to explore new tastes and possibly find their new favorite drink. Others like to stick with a beverage that is familiar.
Christina Rodriguez, an English creative writing student, said, “Jenn makes the best vanilla bean coffee and vanilla lattes for me.”
Parson’s Café is truly a special place for students and staff around campus. The relationships built with the baristas, as well as the drinks made with love, ensure that students get the same pleasant experience every time.
Cabral concluded, “The reason students come here is because they feel special. It means a lot to me for students to come here. I like to make them happy, especially if one day they are not feeling the greatest.”