The Uniresta-owned Campus Shop is looking for new business space at the Linnanmaa campus. Early next year the shop will be replaced by a new juice and smoothie bar, owned by Juvenes-Yhtiöt.
The CEO of Uniresta, Kaija-Liisa Silvennoinen, says that the shop will move out of the central lobby by the end of October.
”It is still uncertain when we will be open for the last time. However, we believe that our doors will close around mid-October.”
In April, the University of Oulu terminated its lease contract with Uniresta regarding the Campus Shop space. The reason behind this is the need to increase restaurant space, now that the Oulu University of Applied Sciences will be moving to the Linnanmaa campus.
According to Silvennoinen, Uniresta has been discussing the new spaces with the university. As of now, no new spaces have been found.
”The university has advised us to contact the University Properties of Finland Ltd. (SYK) directly. With the arrival of the University of Applied Sciences, the whole set of spaces is still a bit of a mess, which means we haven’t gotten any concrete suggestions for the new space.”
If a new space cannot be found at all, Silvennoinen admits that one alternative is to close the shop for good.
”We would like to continue our business but if, instead of getting a central business location, we are forced to relocate somewhere in the peripheries of the campus, it is more reasonable to quit. Location, location and location, these are the most crucial qualities. Campus Shop requires enough volume and clientele in order to remain profitable.”
Among other things, Campus Shop sells office and stationery supplies, gift items, books for courses and entrance exams, and products featuring the university logo. Additionally, they sell small snacks, such as coffee, tea, pick ‘n’ mix candy, salads and sandwiches.
According to Silvennoinen, the most popular products in the last few years have been coffee, candy and take-away food, but there is also demand for office and stationery supplies.
”Traditionally, pens, rubbers, notebooks, note-taking equipment, and cards have all been fast sellers. Being able to buy intact tights or a pencil for an exam has saved the day of many students and members of staff.”
If Campus Shop will be out of business for good, could one of the other cafés at the campus start selling office and stationary supplies?
”This matter will definitely be settled in one way or another. I will be meeting with the CEOs from both Juvenes and Uniresta before Midsummer, and the matter is being discussed with them”, says the financial director of the University of Oulu, Pirjo Kytösalmi.
Juices, smoothies, high-quality special coffees
The competitive tendering for the Linnanmaa campus restaurants reached its conclusion on Wednesday 31st of May. Juvenes-Yhtiöt from Tampere was chosen as the new service provider.
According to the restaurant concept design enclosed with the call for tenders, there will be 128 seats inside the new smoothie bar and 40 more on the terrace. The bar will be open from morning to early evening.
In the concept plan it says that the juice and smoothie bar will include “freshly squeezed juices, green smoothies, vegetable shots, take-away, high-quality special coffees, and tea”.
Additionally, the concept design includes a mention of ”mocktails and cocktails at the pop-up place downstairs (Friday special!)”.
Does this mean that alcoholic beverages will also be available?
Pirjo Kytösalmi states that this description means “first and foremost selling juice and smoothie-styled mixtures”. Serving alcoholic beverages would require a liquor license.
”According to the service description, the bar area will be defined separately during the contracting process. This process can only start after the appeal period has expired. In other words, the liquor license question will later be clarified further. Serving alcohol at the campus is also a question of ethics and moral and will be carefully considered prior to implementing anything”, Pirjo Kytösalmi replies.
Translation: Laura Jalkanen.