A Sip of West Salem

Students at West Salem were polled on which coffee shop is their favorite.

Students at West Salem were polled on which coffee shop is their favorite.

• Serena Fincher, Staff

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After the stress of a long day at school, many students at West Salem escape to their favorite coffee shops to relax and recharge. From local hotspots like Oma to short drives to Caribou, coffee is all the rage before and after school. According to a WSMedia poll, 86% of West Salem students consume caffeine on a regular basis. Starbucks was reported to be the most popular coffee shop, with 33% of students naming it their favorite. 

Around 2015, Starbucks rose to popularity with over 23,000 stores in countries across the globe which has continued to increase, as stated in ReferralCandy Blog. So, why did Starbucks become so popular? Starbucks’ climb to the top is largely contributed to their social media presence. Since 2008, the company has been active in many social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their one-for-one promotion offers through these outlets creates a large following. Starbucks has a theme of interaction, helpfulness, and inclusiveness on their social media outlets, and unlike other recognized coffee stores they display the Starbucks experience more than their smoothies or frappuccinos. Calm chatting, relaxation, and peaceful studying can be found featured throughout their social media pages. 

Moka is also rising in popularity among West Salem students. Their new drive-thru in the Onalaska Crossroads area has attracted many high school students. Moka offers trendy drinks served in an appealing manner. Their menu varies from traditional to specialty coffee to options for kids like smoothies and shakes. Many of their refreshments are topped with latte art, or covered in whip cream and drizzled with chocolate. Their food menu, although short, includes small snacks to eat along with your coffee.   

The third most popular coffee shop is Caribou Coffee, favored among 14%  of high school students in West Salem. Caribou’s catch phrase on their website is, “Life is short, stay awake for it.” This warm and comfortable coffee shop serves seasonal coffees along with a large food menu which draws in a variety of age groups. It is common to find high school or college students studying at Caribou after classes because of its calm atmosphere. Moka and Caribou serve very similar drinks, but Caribou provides a place to sit down and snack. 

The last commonly adored coffee shop by West Salem students is Oma. This established coffeehouse differs from large chains with its classic european style coffees. Their audience likes to drink coffee in a traditional manor instead of majorly sweetened and blended. In the past couple years, Oma has grown largely. From a quiet, small café in central West Salem to a big coffee distributor right on the corner of the downtown area. Since moving buildings, Oma is clearly viewed by residents of West Salem which brings in an abundance of customers. Junior Reghan Sage has been working at Oma, her mother’s coffee shop, since eighth grade. “Our business has tripled, in our first day in the building we reached a goal for our day in the old place within the first hour,” said Sage. A bigger building allows a lot more opportunities for the establishment, and warrants students to come in and sit down after school. Reghan also said that Oma’s regulars are near and dear to the employees which is something that you cannot get with most popular coffee chains. 

Every month, high school students at West Salem spend around $24 on coffee which would cost about $288 a year. According to Fox News Network, Americans spend an average of more than $1,000 on coffee each year. 

Each coffee shop holds their own unique quality that attracts different students. It is clear that Starbucks appeals to a majority of West Salem students. Local coffee shops like Oma do not see much competition with big chains like Starbucks, despite its popularity.