The Alumni and Family Picnic at Homecoming this year will be the first time that Coffee Craving will be catering without its iconic trailer. According to Susan Entz, the associate vice president of UNH Alumni Relations, this event, beginning at 12 p.m. on Oct. 1, was created to provide a space for alumni and students as a family alternative to tailgating before the football game. There will be a variety of food trucks, activities and of course, coffee.
“I love our UNH customers,” said Melissa Bouchard, the owner and founder of Coffee Craving. “Their excitement about the coffee and the new flavors matches ours, we’re excited about bringing it [their coffee] to them.”
When Bouchard moved to New Hampshire six years ago, she was in search for a consistent cup of coffee in her new hometown. According to her, there are a lot of excellent coffee places in the area; however, she feels the consistency she was looking for is often lost in larger chain businesses. In pursuit of this reliable cup of coffee, she opened Coffee Craving in May 2014, with the hopes of it becoming her customers’ “go-to” coffee stop. The medium sized trailer is located on Calef Highway in Lee, in a shared lot with Make A Difference Landscaping. Open seven days a week, the little coffee shop is known not only for its flavored iced coffees, but also for its fresh donuts.
“It’s a really good idea,” UNH Senior Nick Karanz said pulling up to Coffee Craving’s window. “People will be really happy because everyone loves their coffee.”
Out of the multiple vendors, Coffee Craving will be the only one designated specifically toward coffee. Since it is the first time Bouchard is catering without her trailer, she wants to keep the vendor simple and successful by just selling medium coffees. Both hot and iced will be sold for $3. Iced coffee flavors will include peanut butter fluff, cinnamon hazelnut brown sugar, French vanilla, pumpkin and house blend, which will also be available hot. Also adding more blue and white to this year’s Homecoming celebration will be Coffee Craving’s special Wildcat flavor, blueberry cheesecake.
“UNH is our unofficial home away from home,” Bouchard said. “We are excited to take part in this celebration.”
According to Entz this is the first year this event will take place in this format. In addition to the food trucks, there will be face painting, a balloon artist, a photo booth, button making, college based exhibits, corn hole, customized pennants and a DJ. The event will end with a performance from the marching band, inviting alumni, friends and family to march to the football game.
“Alumni have been looking for other activities on campus during Homecoming in addition to tailgating,” Entz said in an email. “It is also family weekend and all parents and their students are invited to the Homecoming Alumni and Family Picnic taking place at the alumni tent on Thompson Hall Lawn.”
For Bouchard, Coffee Craving’s presence at this event is an example of successful networking with small businesses. “It is not often you can see that come to life,” she said. “It will be a huge honor to be there because there were so many other [local] choices.”