Coffee outlets take advantage of built-in clientele, open near Rosemont Campus


A sign noting the amount of money raised by Dutch Brothers Coffee outlet for Rosemont High School. Photo by Gemma Costuna, Rosemont High School.

Gemma Costuna , Rosemont High School

It’s a Friday, and students, families and early-bird workers are waiting in line at the new Dutch Bros coffee stand on Kiefer Boulevard in Rosemont. A promotional fundraiser for Rosemont High School has attracted hundreds of community members. The March 3 event brings in $8,000 for RHS — $4,000 from customers, with a $4,000 match from the Dutch Bros Corporation.

Rosemont now has two new coffee-chain franchises — a Starbucks also recently opened on Kiefer — within walking distance of RHS. There is broad agreement that the new businesses can bring significant benefits to Rosemont, including job opportunities, community pride, partnerships such as the fundraiser that helped RHS, and convenient, safe hangouts for students.  However, easy access to coffee products also raises student health and attendance concerns.

“In many of these drinks, there’s caffeine and lots of sugar,” said RHS Principal Elizabeth Vigil. “We always have to be making good and responsible decisions, no matter what is around us.”

Dutch Bros also built a franchise directly across the street from El Camino High. Coincidence? Not likely. Data suggests teenagers are Dutch Bros target audience. According to Grizzle, an economics and finance resource, around 51% of Dutch Bros rewards members are between 16 to 25, making a location near a high school ideal for business to flourish. (

“It’s a habit to go to Dutch, something that I do when I’m bored, when I want a snack, and basically replace breakfast for me,” said junior Leah Silva.

However, from the 58 grams of sugar in a medium Rebel (a Dutch Bros exclusive energy drink) to the 107 grams in a medium blended Caramelizer, there may be raised health concerns from staff members and possibly even parents.

Then there are problems related to attendance and student behavior.

“I see kids who are late to class with Dutch Bros in hand,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, the school controller, “We get phone calls from the nearby Starbucks saying kids are there and skipping class, about behavioral issues.” 

Rodriguez said that after such calls, the office sends campus monitors to the Starbucks.

Many teens say it’s become normal to bring brand-name caffeine and syrup filled drinks to school in the morning or to buy them during after-school hangouts.

“Since it’s so close, many people choose to hang out or study there, and when you’re in the  coffee shop environment, you’re enticed to buy food or a drink,” said sophomore Nhi Thanh. “I honestly go three to five times a week and spend around $20 weekly.”

A benefit of nearby cafe spots is they give students, especially underclassmen who can’t drive, an easily accessible place to go. 

Summing up the pros and cons of having coffee shops near school, sophomore Chloe Hargrove said, “Because we didn’t have many coffee shop establishments here in the neighborhood, it gave us a place to hang out after long days of school. I don’t have to worry about my parents giving me a ride. But the close proximity and caffeine intake has affected both my health and bank account.”