Jilly Beans expanded its hours with the hope that college students will visit the coffee shop to study and enjoy special perks.
Every Tuesday, Jilly Beans is now open until 10 p.m., specifically to accommodate students. Additionally, the coffee shop is now open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Customers will have a chance to receive extra punches on punch cards or free items such as coffee and cookies on Tuesday nights.
“We will be doing something special each of those days,” said owner Mary Ellen Sattler, who purchased the coffeehouse last March. “We’d like some feedback on what the students would like to see.”
Jilly Beans will continue to offer soups, chili, and paninis into the evenings, in order to keep up what Sattler described as “more of a homey feel.” She also encouraged customers to visit the secret garden, a patio and garden behind the coffee shop.
“The secret garden is beautiful in the evenings,” Sattler said. “We have the twinkle lights up and it is truly enchanting! And the wifi works out there!”
Katie Crowley is an employee of Jilly Beans and a junior at Jackson College. She came up with the idea of staying open late one night a week to attract college students.
“As a college student, I thought of places people could go to get away from school and the library and all that and still be able to succeed in their studies,” Crowley said. “I love the environment of Jilly Beans. I thought the late night would be a great way to study with friends, have coffee, and have a sense of a home away from home.”
Both Sattler and Crowley said that some college students have been visiting on Tuesday nights, as have local residents, but many people do not know about the extended hours.
“It’s amazing how many stop in and are surprised to know that we are open later on certain days as well as Sunday,” Sattler said.
She said that she hopes to see more college students come by.
Senior Duncan Voyles said that he visits Jilly Beans twice a week, and is usually there on Tuesday nights.
“I like that Jilly Beans puts life at school in perspective by reminding me of life outside it,” Voyles said. “Whether it’s listening to a group of men who’ve gathered to shoot the breeze over their morning coffee or watching kids eagerly pick from the menu when their mother brings them in after school, classes and responsibilities seem less all-consuming when these little things remind me of life beyond completing the next assignment.”
He added that Jilly Beans is one of his favorite places to study, whether that means working hard in an atmosphere that’s not too distracting, or having a good time reading with friends.
Crowley said that the extra perks offered on Tuesdays are good incentives for students, and that more ideas are planned. For instance, students may be able to suggest drinks they would like to have, and become the namesake if the drink is chosen.
“Sometimes the first drink is on the house to get them in,” Crowley said. “We want to show students we appreciate them coming.”
Voyles said that these extra treats help make college night even better.
“As an economics major, I can get behind incentives,” he said. “Between the punch card triple punches and first-time free drinks, Jilly Beans is slaying the incentives game.”