Oscar-Ritchie Hall Cafe rebranded

Rachel Stevenson

Kent State’s Dining Services has partnered with Sweet Unity Farms to rebrand the Oscar-Ritchie Hall coffee shop to Moyo Café, The Heart’s Home.

Aaron Thomas, a senior accounting major, said he has worked at the café for four years and has seen it change multiple times.

“It’s definitely interesting to see because it kind of brings a new vibe into the building,” he said.

He said the café, previously known as Jazzman’s Café, was rebranded to Moyo Café, The Heart’s Home after partnering with Sweet Unity Farms, which was founded by David Robinson, son of baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson.

“I think it’s great that it feels like there’s a little more culture now,” Thomas said.

He said he believes supporting the coffee company, founded in Tanzania with the mission of supporting local farming communities, brings more diversity and culture onto campus.

“I believe the farm itself is in Tanzania, and they’re giving back a portion of the money to the farmers who are actually producing the coffee itself,” he said. “Most of these other corporate coffee brands, I don’t really know details on it, but I can guess they aren’t as giving to the people they are taking the coffee from.”

The café also serves a variety of pastries from the Kent State Bakeshop, as well as “Simply to Go” fruit, fruit salads, sandwiches and parfaits.

Cassidy Lombardy, sophomore entrepreneurship major and first-time customer at Moyo Café, said she would return to the café after trying the new coffee.

“This is my day that I don’t get to go back to my (dorm) room, and I’m always like ‘Wow I wish I could stop somewhere’ because now I’m by White Hall, and there’s never food or drinks around here. And now there is,” she said.

Thomas said he is not a coffee drinker, but his customers seem to enjoy the new coffee brand.

“The best flavor is probably the caramel; Everyone seems to like that,” he said.

He said he has seen an increased interest in the new coffee brand, which has attracted students to Moyo Café.

“It’s just almost intriguing to them. They are kind of curious, so that curiosity kind of leads to ‘maybe I should try this,’” he said.

Moyo Café is open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. It accepts dining plans.

Sweet Unity Farms’ coffee bags can be found in all three on-campus markets as well as at Moyo Café located on the first floor of Oscar-Ritchie Hall.

Contact Rachel Stevenson at [email protected]