Grounds for Change opens in Hillman Hall


WUSTL Dining Services added a new cafe to the Danforth Campus dining locations on August 3, 2015. Grounds for Change, located in Hillman Hall, will provide a café experience within the Brown School of Social Work and also, a unique take on dining partnerships. The cafe will offer coffee and espresso, grab & go, daily lunch specials, fresh-squeezed orange juice and more.

Grounds for Change, the Brown School community café in Goldfarb Hall, began as a student-run coffee shop in 2006. The concept for the cafe integrated the values of social work, public health, social entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability. Students, staff, faculty and visitors enjoyed fair-trade, organic, shade-grown coffees, and snacks purchased from vendors selected not just for the virtues of their products, but also their own sensitivity to environmental, social and wellness issues. All possible waste was either recycled or composted at the cafe.

The tradition continues at the new Grounds for Change, which opened on August 3, in the Brown School’s newest building Hillman Hall. The cafe reflects the values of healthy building and a diverse community. The Brown School and Bon Appetit have partnered with the Independence Center to assist transitional employees as they re-enter the workforce. This expanded Grounds for Change offers a rotating weekly chef-inspired lunch special and menu items from local restaurants, including PuraVegan, Natalie’s Cakes & More, Celebrity Southern Soul Food, San Sai, SeedzWasabi and others.

To support the Brown School’s mission “to create positive social change”, Dining Services and food service partner Bon Appetit Management Company, have partnered with local restaurants from various parts of St. Louis to offer great food, with a story. The goal of the program is to provide local, small restaurant businesses with access to a new audience and stimulate the growth of their businesses. These restaurant partners are part of the campus’ only Local Eats program – a program in which local restaurants provide a selection of grab and go items, and are highlighted in a weekly “guest chef” program in the Grounds for Change cafe.

The selection of items provided by the Local Eats partners are in addition to the various grab and go items, fresh baked muffins and pastries, agua frescas and a daily lunch special prepared by WUSTL Dining Services chefs each day.

The cafe’s coffee and espresso program will feature Chronicle Coffee, a St. Louis-based, WUSTL alumnus-owned coffee enterprise. The café will proudly serve a seasonal variety of fair trade certified coffee and espresso, as well as a tea selection from The Republic of Tea.

Chronicle Coffee, a part of Northwest Coffee Roasting Co., is an artisan coffee roaster serving the Saint Louis community.

They embody the legacy of coffee by unifying communities, stimulating dialogue, and providing hand roasted and brewed full city coffee. Chronicle Coffee is roasted locally (Central West End) and can be found at in both their Central West End and Clayton coffeehouse locations.

WUSTL Dining Services chefs have worked closely with the Brown School to promote a variety of better-for-you options and will offer new grab and go options including half-sized sandwiches and salads, aguas frescas of the day, and Connie’s Choice bakery items. The cafe also features one of two Zumex juicers on campus, which will allow for fresh-squeezed orange juice to be available daily.

With sustainability as a focus in all WUSTL Dining Services locations, the cafe will offer compostable and recyclable containers, utensils and packaging. Programs such as the Bottomless Mug membership and Choose Reusables Refill will help guests reduce the amount of single-use products used.

On July 31, 2015, Grounds for Change hosted a tasting event for faculty and staff of the Brown School. Visit our Flickr site to view photos from the event.

Grounds for Change is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

For more information, contact