Change Please selects UNC Charlotte for its first U.S. location
Excitement for the opening of Auntie Anne’s last spring overshadowed the roll out of another delightful addition to Dining Services’ lineup of offerings: Change Please Coffee.
Change Please Coffee now shares a space in the Aurum Cafe of the new Science Building on Craver Road. They poured their first cup of coffee sold in a retail space in the U.S. on UNC Charlotte’s campus back in the fall, and they continue to offer delicious medium roast coffee on weekdays.
In addition to its flavorful coffee, Change Please stands out because of its unique mission. Change Please is a 501(C)(3) charitable organization and relies on corporate and private donations to invest in the expansion of its socially-driven business.
All of the proceeds from the sales of Change Please coffee at UNC Charlotte are donated to local nonprofit organizations that assist people struggling with homelessness. These organizations include Charlotte Family Housing, Roof Above, The Salvation Army and Crisis Assistance Ministry.
The company started in the United Kingdom where it still partners with universities to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness by donating proceeds to nonprofit organizations and offering job training and employment. In the U.K., Change Please employees go through a referral and selection process. If they qualify, they are offered therapy, healthcare, training and a position that pays a living wage to secure housing.
Chartwells, UNC Charlotte’s dining partner, saw an opportunity to open a location in the United States and help ease the housing crisis here in Charlotte. Ben Kolnos, Chartwells’ senior director of retail at UNC Charlotte, described the opportunity to partner with Change Please as a “no-brainer” and “perfect fit” for Charlotte’s campus.
Ben Kolnos, senior director of retail dining, serves customers at the opening of Change Please in April 2022. Photo by Katie Turner, Business Services.
On April 1, 2022, Change Please opened alongside Auntie Anne’s in their first United States location.
Cemal Ezel, the founder of Change Please, describes the opening in Charlotte as the beginning of a movement into other U.S. locations.
“As a university renowned for its philanthropic and inclusive philosophy, UNC Charlotte was a natural place for our first U.S. opening. We’re excited to brew coffees in the heart of its beautiful grounds and hope this will lead to further openings across North America, helping us lift more people out of homelessness,” Ezel said.
Change Please sources its coffee globally, but roasts it in the U.S. Ryan McMillan, operations and impact director at Change Please, is passionate about creating the right recipe for a great cup of coffee that people will want to buy over and over again.
For McMillan, the success of Change Please is not just about giving back to the community, but also about producing a superior product.
In addition to Aurum Cafe, Change Please is also served at the Market at the Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City and at events catered by Dining Services.
Try Change Please at the Science Building on weekdays. Visit Dine on Campus for hours and information.