Our prices are increasing.
We’ve waited as long as we can, but unfortunately we’re raising our prices.
Here’s three reasons why:
1. COFFEE COSTS HAVE GONE UP
Starting in Q1 of 2022, our coffee supplier Counter Culture raised their wholesale prices for the first time since 2017. In our time working with them, Counter Culture has been consistent, caring, and committed to the fair treatment of both their farmers and cooperatives as well as their wholesale partners. Because we know where the money from this price increase is going, we are happy to pay what they ask and, indeed, what their product is worth. In order to make the most of our continuing partnership with Counter Culture our entire staff will be retrained with their expert educators to ensure the coffee they work so hard to source and roast is served with the utmost quality and care.
2. LABOR COSTS HAVE GONE UP
When the pandemic hit, we gave our employees a small raise, essentially equating to hazard pay. We have since expanded our staff to accommodate workloads in case of positive COVID-19 cases and sick leave. Now that all our new baristas have been trained up and settled in as a valued part of the staff, we want to give them a raise as well. We want to pay our employees a fair wage, full stop. Seeing as how rent, food, utilities and health care costs have increased across the board significantly, we are obligated to make sure our staff are paid more as well. To do this, we have implemented a guaranteed $15 an hour with tips. This means that even when tips decrease during our slow seasons, Aura will bolster pay so that every employee makes $15 an hour at minimum. It's a small part of a big picture, but it makes a difference.
3. OPERATIng COSTS HAVE increased
Small business operations can be fraught with fees, unexpected costs and expenses. Our taxes and other utilities have increased by a fair amount in the last two years. Our point-of-sale and card processing provider has increased its fees steadily over time. The building that houses Aura was built in the 40’s and requires repairs and maintenance to ensure its longevity.
Some of you remember our brief closure during the early stages of the pandemic. We have heard over and over how important Aura is to some of you, and we couldn’t agree more. This place is home to so many. We want to continue making our space as accessible and community-oriented as possible. To do this, we are going to continue providing disposable masks to our customers free of charge, and continue to factor tax into our prices. We’d like to avoid another price increase in the future, so please bear with us as we adjust for the times and know that if we could keep em low, we would.
OUR PROMISE, AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
We at Aura promise to be as transparent as possible about what you're paying for when you buy a coffee from us. To help combat the increasing costs of operations and labor, here’s what you can do:
Buy gift cards - You can make sure the money you spend here goes to us by purchasing and reloading gift cards. Wanna set a coffee budget for the semester? Buy gift cards in any amount you choose! Our card processing fees only apply when you load money onto the card, so we are spared the fees when you pay.
Bring your own cup - We encourage anyone to bring their own cup! We can make nearly any drink in a cup you provide. This not only saves us the cost of a cup and lid, but cuts down on general waste significantly. Just be sure to remove the lid or any part of a tumbler or travel mug that touches your mouth.
Pay in cash - cash is still king! Cash payments are not subject to fees from our processor and the cash tips you give go directly to the pockets of our staff.
Bear with us - We really didn’t want to raise prices and in fact have refused to raise them for more than three years. This is simply to ensure that we can continue to employ our beloved staff and continue to serve our beloved community.
THANK YOU FOR STICKING WITH US.
We love and appreciate every single one of you who continues to support us through these wild and uncertain times.
Thank you, so much, from all of us.