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Ponder Coffee to take over Sept. 17 as Park Library coffee shop, delayed amidst contract talks


Patrons sitting outside of Ponder Coffee Company's downtown location on Wednesday, Aug. 25 on Broadway Street in Mount Pleasant.

Ponder Coffee Company, a chain local to Mount Pleasant, has been slotted to take over the former Java City location in the Park Library, but the owners have not yet signed a contract with Central Michigan University.  

Amanda Armstrong, the senior director of marketing for Chartwells, said Ponder is scheduled to start in the new location on Sept. 17.

CMU Facilities Management has been in continuing contract negotiations with the coffee shop throughout the summer and expects Ponder to be open at that time, despite hesitation from the shop’s owners. 

Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Cal Seelye said in June that contract negotiations were going well, but there were aspects of working with a small business, compared to large corporations, that were making things difficult. Seelye said CMU’s original goal for Ponder’s opening date was Aug. 30.

“There are financial commitments that I think could be challenging,” Seelye said. “That’s where some of the negotiations are. I think it’s just making the decision. Will it work, will it be successful? Because there’s going to be an investment on behalf of Ponder to be in that space.” 

The on-campus cafe would be Ponder’s third Mount Pleasant location. The Franklin Street shop near campus has been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the downtown shop on Broadway Street has remained open. The Franklin Street location is expected to open at the end of August. Co-owner Christie Cromar said she is not ready to discuss details of the new location because of their pending contract. 

“We just can’t talk about that right now,” Cromar said. “We don’t have a contract signed and there’s a lot up in the air right now so I can’t. I don’t have enough knowns right now.”