As of spring semester at Cuesta College, campus has been shut down and classes are being conducted from home, which has affected student life on campus.
This adjustment has forced a popular on-campus vendor, and coffee cart owner Michelle Varia, to leave Cuesta College and seek employment elsewhere.
Varia has owned and operated Espress-O-Yourself since 2001. She purchased the cart for sale from the previous owner at Cuesta College. Since then she has added an employee and become a relatively known campus staple.
Due to the shutdowns, Varia and her one employee both went on unemployment and are unsure of what the future holds if and when they may return to campus when it reopens.
“When the campus shut down, I had a hard time making ends meet,” Varia said. “I had to take out a loan in order to pay my rent and other expenses.”
Other vendors on campus, like the Cuesta Bookstore, have moved fully online. As long as campus classes are still done remotely, the bookstore cannot reopen without a greenlight from school administration, and the state guidelines give the okay to do so.
When asked to comment, Cuesta Bookstore had no response.
“Cuesta did reach out to me to let me know I could not be open for the time being,” Varia said. “With the pandemic, it has been hard to determine what will happen with the coffee cart.”
Currently, Varia is working a part-time seasonal job, and would like to continue on campus with her cart when students and teachers return to in-person classes.