UBC Undergraduate Research

Raising the Barn's social profile on campus to enhance its economic and environmental sustainability Derbyshire, Kari; Bowen, Heather; Steedman, Lin; Edgar, Matt; MacLean, Teresa; Kayanuma, Amiko; Wei, Priscilla


In light of UBC’s vision to become a world leader in campus sustainability, a variety of institutions on campus and their faculty, staff, and students are joining the pledge to take action and make sustainability a guiding principle in their operational and daily decisions. The overarching goal of our AGSC 450 group was to increase the sustainability of The Barn Coffee Shop. Being situated at the mouth of Sustainability Street and near South campus residences, The Barn is in an ideal location to promote all aspects of sustainability while providing convenient, affordable food in a comfortable setting. We focused on increasing the social sustainability of The Barn, which would ultimately enhance its economic and ecological sustainability through increased revenue and clientele. Improving the social liveliness of The Barn would create a more inviting venue for students and faculty members and would contribute to building loyal clientele. The methodology utilized in our research for this discussion paper included reviews of previous AGSC 450 work as well as publications by UBC Food services and the UBC Alma Mater Society. We met with leaders of UBC Food Services, and conducted a survey querying students on suggestions for change at the barn. The results indicated that students would be more likely to visit The Barn if it were open later and served alcohol. We also hosted a campus-wide a beer garden to raise the profile of The Barn and to raise funds for future sustainability initiatives at The Barn. We visited various popular pubs, coffee shops and restaurants in the local area that are frequented by UBC students and reviewed B.C liquor control and licensing act to determine what was required of UBC Food Services to obtain a BC Food-Primary Liquor License. In addition to this work we developed a seasonal appetizer menu incorporating food made from locally available produce. Our vision for The Barn paralleled that of a student marketing team from Sauder School of Business that was investigating ways to raise the profile of The Barn and make it more sustainable and profitable. There is great opportunity to improve The Barn’s position as a sustainable destination on campus. Within this paper we have outlined strategies and recommendations for UBC Food Services to successfully accomplish this. If pursued the changes and initiatives at The Barn we have proposed will further fuel the movement towards sustainability, influencing positive lifestyle changes and habits on all who visit the venue. The Barn could serve as a demonstration project that large groups such as UBC Food Services can actually be dedicated to sustainability and the local food system they are a part of while still turning a profit. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada