With the closing of on-campus coffee shops Albert’s, CornerStone, Zeke’s Café, and Dunkin’, students and faculty have turned to local small business Ramon’s Coffee Cart.
Located on Academic Way across from Parsons Hall, Ramon’s is in a convenient location for students and faculty to swing by before or after class to get their caffeine fix. Ramon’s has been open for 15 years at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), according to business owner Ramon Valdez.
Ramon’s offers a wide breakfast menu which includes bagels, coffee, and a variety of different breakfast sandwiches. “Bagels and iced coffee are always a hit,” said Valdez.
Sophomore Cassandra Eppler agreed, speaking on the quality of the food and service at Ramon’s. Eppler said, “Yeah, the bagels are banging, but the conversation and customer service is what really keeps me going back.”
Eppler was not the only student extremely fond of the overall experience at Ramon’s. Sophomore Emma Donigian, a regular customer at Ramon’s during both her first year and sophomore year said, “I know everything’s real, and it’s a family owned business so that’s a big thing.”
While students make up a majority of Ramon’s customer demographic, plenty of faculty also choose Ramon’s rather than heading downtown. David Ripley, professor of music at UNH, has developed a close relationship with owner, Valdez.
“My go-to order is the coca mocha,” said Ripley. “Coca mocha” stands for a coconut coffee with mocha. Both Ripley and Valdez joked about this signature drink, and Ripley shared his special nickname for his go-to, the “choo choo,” which both he and Valdez use.
Ripley said he continuously comes back to Ramon’s because “it’s right here, it’s good, and I love Ramon!”
In past years, faculty and staff have made up a sizeable portion of customers at Ramon’s. However, much of this customer base has vanished as the university turned to hybrid classes for its fall semester. Valdez said that he has not had “as much faculty as I did last year. A lot more students, but a real lack of professors now.”
In previous years, faculty made up a majority of Ramon’s early hour business, the crowd between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. This year, the breakfast crowd “starts at 9:30 or 10, where before at 7 I was busy, and I stayed busy,” said Valdez.
With the overall reduction in customers due to hybrid classes at the university, Valdez has temporarily modified his menu and hours of operation until he can start producing the business he has had in previous years. The new hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., where Ramon’s previously would stay open until at least 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
Along with the new business hours, Ramon’s also cut back on some of its menu items. “I took out pretty much all the lunch food until I can see a better turn over,” said Valdez.
Despite business being down since the start of the academic year, Ramon’s remains on its feet due to its regular customers. Customers can stay updated and find out more information on Ramon’s Coffee Cart by following Ramon’s on Instagram, @ramonsfoodncoffee, and liking them on Facebook, @Rrramon’s Food & Coffee Cart.
Photo courtesy of Ramon’s Instagram account.