Bri Gardner – Staff Writer
Many Dordt University students are familiar with the Fruited Plain: a hotspot for students to regularly study, faculty members to convene, and town members to chat over a cup of coffee. While the Fruited Plain is generally busy, it gets especially so on Tuesdays.
In what was previously known as “Two Dollar Tuesdays,” students could purchase 8-ounce drinks for $2. Students packed The Fruited Plain every Tuesday, taking advantage of the low costs. But with rising costs of ingredients, the Fruited Plain has adjusted their prices.
In an Instagram post on Jan. 2, The Fruited Plain announced their new promotional deal: “4-3-Twosday.” This promotion allows customers to buy blended drinks for $4, lattes for $3, and pastries for $2.
The tradition of “Two Dollar Tuesdays” dates back over 14 years. Rebecca De Vries, co-owner of the Fruited Plain, loved the customer interaction, continuity, and energetic environment the promotion brought. She and her husband found fun ways to interact with customers and remind them of the deal, such as stockpiling $2 bills in the cash register as a unique way to hand out change. De Vries also loved seeing regular customers on Tuesdays. She is shocked by the many students who come back week after week, from college students to middle schoolers who walk from junior high every Tuesday for a sweet coffee or pastry.
The tradition which began as a way to “get people in the door,” took off in recent years. As prices elsewhere continued to rise, students, faculty, and town members alike flocked to the Fruited Plain, attempting to get the best bang for their buck.
“I don’t think you can get coffee anywhere anymore for two dollars,” De Vries said. “We might have been the last place.”
De Vries is correct in her assumption. Competitors such as Butlers, Rooted, or The Grain House–all popular hangouts for students–offer lattes for $4 or over, meaning that De Vries’s promotion was the best in the area. Butlers recently began a promotion of its own near Dordt’s Christmas break, in which students who come in after 6 p.m. can buy any small drink for $3. The Grain House offers another deal, taking a dollar off drinks for students on Thursdays. Rooted offers a Monday deal, taking $2 off any hot or iced mocha.
De Vries says that milk and coffee, along with delivery fees, are the reason for the price change. Milk in particular has gone up significantly. De Vries sources her milk supply from Nebraska, meaning she and her husband must navigate the increase in price for the product itself and the increase in delivery fees due to gas. One worker called the price increase the “great tragedy of 2022.” Contrary to what one might expect, the public has been understanding of the price change.
“In fact, most people are like ‘Good! It’s about time, we want you to survive,’” De Vries said.
Last Tuesday, Jan. 17, The Fruited Plain had its first “4-3-Twosday” with Dordt students back on campus. The environment in the store was much quieter than usual, with Devries unsure whether that was due to the price change or students getting used to regular rhythms. However, she is hopeful that the price change can keep both students and her business thriving.
“We do hope this won’t affect Dordt students too much,” De Vries said. “We love the energy they bring.”