Renovations Turn the Study into a Brighter, Better Version of Itself

Story and Photos by Michael Charlebois

Third-year Lakehead University student Mateo Tobon considers himself a coffee enthusiast. Originally from Colombia, he visited his campus coffee shop in years past because he enjoyed the vintage atmosphere and friendly staff, but when it came to the coffee itself, there was something left to be desired. “It was so acidic, the milk would crumble into the cup it when it was poured,” he says.

So it was a welcome surprise that when Moton returned for school this year, the newly renovated, brighter, and more spacious Study Coffeehouse had also upgraded their coffee. “It’s coffee. Everybody needs coffee. Ideally, you’re going to go where it’s cheapest, with the best service and atmosphere,” says Study Coffeehouse manager Noreen Gracey.

The new Study Coffeehouse, located in the core of Lakehead University, believes it has all of that. What formerly featured a dimly lit, vintage atmosphere, with non-functional seating for students looking for study space has been transformed thanks to the vision of Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) and Firedog Communications.The two worked in tandem to put student money back into the coffee shop, which now features a cozier atmosphere, additional seating, coffee-coloured textures, and a modern aesthetic that gives students more reason to enjoy.

“One thing I’ve heard from people is that it’s more open; it looks bigger. Physically we haven’t changed anything. It’s just a rearrangement of furniture and colours,” LUSU VP Farhan Yousaf says. LUSU’s vision for the shop has been years in the making, and part of the goal from the start was to give The Study a community feel. That’s why all of the products are locally sourced. Whether it’s the main dishes from Masala Grille, baking from London Variety (the manager recommends the croissants), tea from the International House of Tea, and, most importantly, coffee from Rose N Crantz Roasting Co. and St Paul Roastery, The Study has made it a point to give the students the chance to support local at an affordable price.

“I’ve been here five years, and year after year it’s the same students returning,” Gracey says. “Honestly, it’s a little heart-warming, It makes me feel like we’re doing something right.”