The United Kingdom-based cafe chain Costa Coffee will open a store at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School on Oct. 6. The new eatery will replace Highland Bakery, which closed this summer.

Costa Coffee is the world’s second-biggest coffee chain behind Starbucks. All but one of Costa Coffee’s nearly 4,000 retail locations are abroad, making the shop at Goizueta the brand’s second stand-alone location in the United States. The first U.S. retail Costa Coffee shop opened this summer in the Coda building in Midtown Atlanta’s Technology Square. 

The Coca-Cola Company, which maintains close ties with Emory, is Costa Coffee’s parent company. The University continues to benefit from sizable donations throughout the 1900s from top Coca-Cola leaders, including a $105 million gift in 1979 from former Coca-Cola President Robert Woodruff (12C).

Coca-Cola Ambassador Lucas San Miguel (25C) hands out Costa Coffee samples. Courtesy of Lucas San Miguel

Coca-Cola Ambassador Lucas San Miguel (25C) is helping coordinate Costa Coffee’s launch into the Emory community. The Coca-Cola Company’s relationship with Costa Coffee heightens the significance of the cafe opening at Goizueta, San Miguel said. 

“The long-standing relationship with Emory and Coca-Cola kind of complements that in a really nice way,” San Miguel said.

Although Costa Coffee will be joining 14 other dining locations on Emory’s Atlanta campus, it will be the only coffee shop in the business school. Previously, students in need of caffeine could visit the now-closed Highland Bakery or use a coffee machine in a room designated as “Refreshments” in Goizueta’s Coca-Cola Commons, which will still be available. 

While this will be Costa Coffee’s first stand-alone location on Emory’s campus, the Clairmont Campus offers a Costa Coffee Smart Café — a device similar to a vending machine which features some of the chain’s drinks — at the Student Activity & Academic Center.

The cafe will offer students distinctly high-quality coffee beans, San Miguel said, adding that he believes these beans helped Costa Coffee achieve such success abroad. San Miguel also praised Costa Coffee’s food, describing the turkey croissant sandwich as “the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.” 

Kaldi’s Coffee, a chain with three locations at Emory, is aiding the cafe’s opening. The U.S. company flew in employees from St. Louis, Missouri — its home city — to help ensure that the new Costa Coffee has a successful unveiling. Kaldi’s provided the same assistance for the Costa Coffee location in Midtown, San Miguel said.

Some students have already visited Costa Coffee abroad, including Margaret Chang (23B), who first tasted the chain’s offerings this summer while studying in Scotland. Chang described the store as “definitely better than Highland,” and said she’s looking forward to the shop opening on campus.

“I can see myself going there quite a bit, especially if they have pastries or food options,” Chang said. “It’d be easy to go in between classes.”

The store also holds educational significance to some Goizueta students, Gracie Byers (23B) said, noting that she and other business students learned about Coca-Cola’s acquisition of Costa Coffee in class. Byers added that she wasn’t surprised when she learned that the coffee chain was coming to Goizueta.

“I think when we first showed up back to campus and it was here, we were not shocked at all,” Byers said.

San Miguel and other Costa Coffee representatives have occasionally given out Costa Coffee samples on campus since the start of the year, which San Miguel said they plan to continue doing even after the shop opens. 

He added that preparing for the opening has allowed him to realize the chain’s value to some students from regions and countries where Costa Coffee is popular, such as the United Kingdom, India and China. 

“I’ve had dozens and dozens of international students saying, ‘this means a lot to me, knowing that I have a piece of home here,’” San Miguel said.