Mind and Hearth vs The Pines

Britney Botez

The Pines Cafe, Dec. 17, 2023, at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. | Caleb Flegel/The Whitworthain

The Pines Cafe and Mind and Hearth are popular spots on the Whitworth University campus for students to study, socialize and pick up their daily beverage of choice. The Pines Cafe, which opened in the summer of 2021, has become a popular spot for students, faculty and community members to enjoy a variety of Starbucks beverages and food options. Mind and Hearth, the cafe located in the HUB, was the only coffee shop on campus for decades and offers a warm atmosphere in its central location. With two different vibes, some students prefer one over the other.  

Atmosphere, location, and food and beverage options are all factors that Whitworth students weigh when choosing which cafe to regularly visit. 

Over 40 Whitworth students were surveyed on whether they prefer visiting Mind and Hearth or The Pines Cafe. Students were asked whether location, overall atmosphere or food and beverage options influenced this decision most. With a four student difference, the Mind and Hearth came in the lead with 24 students preferring this over The Pines Cafe.

Mind and Hearth came on top for both overall atmosphere and location, yet The Pines Cafe was more popular when it came to food. “We have a lot more options at the Pines, like natural smoothies, the lotus energy drink and the sub shop,” said Emma Fualaau, a marketing intern for Sodexo services on campus. 

Location also plays a major role in which cafe students will visit. “I know a lot of people who wish that the Pines was closer to campus or in the HUB, because due to walking distance and time it’s just not very doable,” said Fualaau.  

However, the overall atmosphere in their cafe of choice is still important to students. “I just think it’s easier to feel community at Mind and Hearth,” said political science major Josie Scott.  

Being newer, The Pines Cafe has had less time for students to become accustomed to it. “I think people [who] have been using it as a study [area are] really trying to find ways [to] make it more welcoming,” said Fuallaau.  

Even with the challenge of being the new spot on campus, some students definitely see The Pines Cafe’s novelty as an advantage. “I love The Pines, because Mind and Hearth has a sleepier atmosphere and even the tables are more fun at The Pines,” said Spanish major Deida Cortez. 

Dining and cafe options are an ever changing aspect of student life. Lots of college students credit caffeine as their saving grace. There are many different reasons students prefer one coffee shop over the other. But, at this time, Mind and Hearth seems like the go to place for Whitworth students.  

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