Pacific dining with Peet’s at El Camino College


Regina Reyes, 28-year-old nursing student, fuels herself with coffee while on a break at The Common Grounds area on Sep. 14, 2018. Photo credit: Kevin Caparoso

Peet’s Coffee arrived on campus this fall semester in a temporary location at The Common Grounds and was brought by El Camino’s new food vendor Pacific Dining.

Pacific Dining is a Bay Area based food management company that specializes in working with community colleges and over the summer took on El Camino College.

“What we saw was a very active community college with a lot of potential,” Tim Dow said, 55-year-old vice president of operations for Pacific Dining.

Pacific Dining decided to partner with Peet’s Coffee because they admire the company’s ideals, Dow said.

“Peet’s really wants to do a lot of good things within the schools,” Dow said. “And they got a really great story behind them when it comes to sourcing coffee and sustainability.”

Espresso being brewed in the Peet’s Coffee location at The Common Grounds on Sep. 14, 2018. Photo credit: Kevin Caparoso Photo credit: Kevin Caparoso

Peet’s Coffee first set up shop at The Common Grounds on Aug. 28 but it’s location is temporary.

“This building is coming down in two months,” Dow said. “When the new student center opens up, this is the next one coming down.”

“We will be relocating,” Dow said, with it’s final destination “to be determined.”

At it’s current location it is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and closes at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Quintin Gilchrest
Quintin Gilchrest, 19-year-old business major from College of the Canyons, orders a Peet’s Coffee from it’s location at The Common Grounds while visiting El Camino for a volleyball game on Sep. 14, 2018. Photo credit: Kevin Caparoso

They also plan to offer seasonal menu items as they come and go.

“It will all be inside there, the pumpkin, the peppermint for the holidays, eggnog and all those things,” Dow said. “As well as the different coffees as they come throughout the year.”

23-year-old barista Mark Oleo’s favorite drink they sell is the Black Tie, which is a cold brew coffee with condensed milk and a splash of half and half.

“It’s like smooth and creamy, it’s my favorite,” Oleo said.

The arrival of Peet’s Coffee gave students more coffee options on campus.

Mikalya Shwartz, 19-year-old journalism major, said the only coffee she used to get from school was from the mocha machine they had last semester because it was “cheap and easy.”

“Now you don’t need that because you got Peet’s, but like if you had that machine thing versus the Peet’s Coffee you’re gonna go with the Peet’s Coffee,” Schwartz said. “It tastes better.”

Mia Smith
Mia Smith, 19-year-old music major, enjoy’s her break while drinking an iced cold Peet’s Coffee at The Common Grounds area on Sep. 14, 2018. Photo credit: Kevin Caparoso

Another option for students was the McDonald’s across the school on Crenshaw Boulevard.

Jose Labra, a 25-year-old graphic design student said he only got coffee from the McDonald’s once. “It leaves a bitter taste,” Labra said. “After that no.”

Labra was surprised by the arrival of Peet’s Coffee. “It was shocking actually, I didn’t expect El Camino to pull it off,” Labra said.

Regina Reyes, a 28-year-old nursing student said she is happy the school got something more sophisticated when it comes to coffee.

“Freshly brewed, you feel it, the smell is rich and the flavor is good,” Reyes said.

“I’m so glad they got it here you know, I’m just so happy you know, I posted it on Instagram the first day I found out about this,” Reyes said. “Like finally El Camino got nice coffee.”