Strange Matter Coffee comes to East Lansing

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Nicoline Bradford

Two costumers enjoy coffee at the outdoor seating at the Eastside Strange Matter location

Popular, local coffee chain Strange Matter fills the space left by Biggby at the MSU Student Union. 

“I’m excited to have another non-MSU food option at the Union,” said Grace Densham, an MSU undergraduate. “I’m especially pleased with the fact that it is a small, local business. It was really sad to see Biggby go and be replaced by vending machines for so long.”

Strange Matter owner Cara Nader, understands the difference small businesses can make.

“We are small, but very efficient at what we do,” she said. “I can’t speak to other coffee shops in town, but we pay a livable wage. Most of our employees make $17 an hour starting and we have very little turnover.”

She says this sets Strange Matter apart from other shops. 

“We really try to treat our staff well and I think that definitely resonated with the people making the decisions,” she said. 

The chain was awarded the Union contract just three days before the Feb. 13 violence on MSU’s campus. Many students will be returning to the Union for the first time since then.

Nader said she worries for the people on campus affected by the event and knows that there will be a lot of emotions on returning.

“My classmate and I would go there for snacks and drinks in between classes and for late-night study sessions,” Densham said. “It felt almost eerie going back.” 

Nicolai Baird, an undergraduate at MSU, said he would understand if some people didn’t want to go back at all.

“I have been back,” he said. “It was kind of empty, not so many people there.”

Densham was already a fan of Strange Matter. She said she thinks it will be a great addition to the campus.

“I’m excited for something to bring a bit of joy to the Union,” she said. “It obviously won’t erase what happened, nothing can, but hopefully we can make some new memories.”

Updates and more information can be found on the Strange Matter website and social media accounts.    

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