Dog Lane Cafe in downtown Storrs offers a space for students to relax while grabbing a quick meal or one of their original homemade drinks.
After being in operation for 11 years, assistant manager and supervisor Haley Blomstrann explained how the atmosphere that Dog Lane provides for the Mansfield and UConn community is unlike many other businesses.
“The big thing for us is that we’re really people focused. We care a lot about the customer experience. We care a lot about our family here, it’s a really tight knit community,” Blomstrann said. “We really care about the people here.”
Being located just across from the UConn Storrs campus, Dog Lane has catered its atmosphere and menu to students, manager Tina Stansberry said. In her short time working at Dog Lane she said she has noticed the impact the business has on students.
“All of the thought that was put into the design of the building makes it very comforting when you walk in. The coffee bar is very inviting,” Stansberry said. “We have a large selection of drinks that we try to gear towards college students. Right now we have our Halloween drinks that are fun for the season. People seem to really enjoy them.”
The cafe also invites UConn students to become part of their team. Briana Delcarmine began working at Dog Lane a month ago. During her time there, she has been able to see what a unique place it is.
“I’ve been here for four weeks now. It’s been really nice working here. I love it. Everyone’s really nice here, it’s fun to work and interact with people,” Delcarmine said, calling it the perfect place to work for any students interested in applying. “I would advise people to apply, there’s so many shifts to take…. They’re also really good with hours here and being flexible,” Delcarmine said.
Because the cafe’s clientele is so student heavy, they did see a major drop in business during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blomstrann said. However, with UConn campus’ return to full capacity, the business is returning to normal too.
“We were hit hard because so much of our business is tied to UConn. With things closed at UConn, we were slow to get things back up to where they were,” Blomstrann said. “But we’ve really noticed this semester, specifically the numbers we’ve been doing on weekends, is evident to see that we’re bouncing back.”
Stansberry has enjoyed her time at the cafe and appreciates the regulars from the Mansfield community that enjoy it in cohesion with students.
“My time here has been really great so far. We have a lot of regulars come in and a lot of students coming in who all seem to really enjoy it here. There’s a nice community that comes in.”Tina Stansberry, manager of Dog Lane Cafe
“My time here has been really great so far. We have a lot of regulars come in and a lot of students coming in who all seem to really enjoy it here. There’s a nice community that comes in,” Stansberry said.
UConn students can use Husky Bucks to pay, Delcarmine explained. “Husky Bucks have been a big thing. A lot of people use their Husky Bucks here before or after class. Our lunch rush is usually all students coming in after classes,” Delcarmine said.
Blomstrann stated no matter your reason for stopping in, Dog Lane Cafe is a welcoming environment for all community members.
“It feels very connected here, which I think is unique nowadays,” Blomstrann said.