Grounds for Thought café on the Mesa Community College (MCC) at Dobson was the first campus café recognized in the New Times’ March 17 “List of 5 Dope Breakfast Spots.” The Phoenix New Times’ Chow Bella has published put out a list of exceptional spots for a bite to eat since approximately September 2017. The paper has a large student readership and thought incorporating a campus café could appeal to those readers. Bianca Mihalcescu, the Grounds for Thought café’s morning manager was featured in the article. Bianca said she creates new drinks daily based on customer’s tastes. Her more popular recipes have given her a space on the café menu under Speciality Drinks as Bianca’s Menu.
The Espresso Patronum named after the Harry Potter spell is one of Bianca’s most ordered drink and was mentioned in the New Times article. It is an iced coffee with two shots of espresso, coconut, white chocolate, and milk. Another one of Bianca’s drinks is the Bubonic Plague. A drink with dark chocolate and hazelnut and according to Bianca, “it kills.” Bianca said the café is famous for the Jared Special and the Wookie. The café, Grounds for Thought, also gets good reviews on yelp drawing in customers who are not students or employees of MCC. Bianca says she gets calls from people who find the café through yelp but the café is not so easy for them to find.
“We don’t even really have a sign on the wall outside that says Grounds for Thought. It’s just like a little saxophone and some music notes,” Bianca said. The main café is located in the Library and High Technology Center in LB 11, but there’s also has a location in the Student Union. The café is family-owned by Rick and Tamara Hanson. they also run campus cafés in Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Glendale Community College. The student hang-out spot is a far cry from its 1994 start as a cart outside the MCC Clock Tower Building on MCC. The artwork is hung on the walls of the café and three of Bianca’s own pieces are on the wall behind the counter. A glass space at the entrance of the café is a satellite lab space for MCC Art Gallery. The exhibition “In a Different Light” will be displayed there until September 15, 2018.
Bianca calls herself is an eco-nut because she likes to think of ways to eliminate waste. The café offers 25 cents off on drinks to anyone bringing in their own cup. and Bianca will lend out cups for to customers who sit at the café and even those heading to the nearby library can borrow a mug since the library now allows drinks. A fun fact about the café is that they are a member of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit organization that celebrates independent, locally owned businesses, and supports other local businesses. The deli selections, pastries, and cookies are made by all from local businesses. The café Grounds for Thoughts tries to steer away from well-known bagged chip brands like Doritos and Cheetos to and sells those made by local establishments to further support local businesses like them.