Common Ground reopens with limited take-out menu

Campus coffee shop launches mobile order option

The summer menu is available on CoGro's app.

Common Ground Coffeehouse (CoGro) is reopening on Monday with a limited, take-out-only menu.

“We have been advocating to University working groups because we wanted to open as soon as possible to provide our services to folks who are already on campus,” Emily Thompson, CoGro head manager, told The Journal. “As well, we wanted to be able to provide an option for those working on campus who may wish to purchase a coffee, snack, or lunch.”

CoGro, which suspended operations in March, is allowed to reopen because it’s classified as an essential service providing food and beverage to the public.

Thompson explained that, like other businesses navigating provincial COVID-19 regulations, CoGro has adapted its operations in several ways to protect the safety of its patrons and staff during reopening.

“Common Ground will be available for take-out only; the [Student Life Centre] dining area is removed for the time being,” Thompson wrote. “There will be separate lines for mobile order pick-up and in-person ordering with signage indicating where to stand to enable safe physical distancing.”

Staff will also be available to help answer questions and guide traffic. 

For now, CoGro will only be accepting debit, credit, and mobile order transactions and, to allow for the safety of its team, it has also suspended the Huskee Cup program that was launched in February. 

READ MORE: Pushing for sustainability, campus coffee shops to launch reusable cup giveaway

CoGro will be following a new cleaning and sanitation protocol to increase the frequency of cleaning on high touchpoint areas like pin pads, door handles, and water taps.

Customers are required to wear face coverings for entrance into CoGro, as per the latest regulation from KFL&A Public Health. Those who don't wear a mask will be refused service and asked to leave the building. 

“Customer favourites such as the turkey apple cheddar sandwich, top-secret bagels, build-a-bagel, coffee, tea, espresso drinks, smoothies and muffins will be available,” Thompson wrote, noting while the menu will be limited, it will allow for vegan and vegetarian options. 

“We are also excited to announce that we will be selling make your own CoGro bagel kits,” Thompson added.

The full summer menu is available on the Common Ground Coffeehouse app, which can be downloaded for free from the app store. CoGro will be open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

READ MORE: AMS Food Bank reopens after closing due to COVID-19

“We are incredibly excited to be able to provide a service for folks in Kingston and on campus,” Thompson wrote.

Common Ground follows the AMS Food Bank and the Peer Support Centre (PSC) in reopening to the public. The Food Bank resumed operations on June 22 with contactless food pick-up and the PSC began operating the PSC x CARED program virtually on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as of June 17.

According to Alexandra Samoyloff, AMS vice-president (operations), the Society is in the process of assessing its other services to determine which ones will be able to resume operations next. 

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