A love letter to my beloved Renaissance at Cornerstone

Photo Credit: Saida Saetgareeva


My dearly beloved Renaissance at Cornerstone,

It saddens me to think that you’ve used the last of your coffee filters this past June 27; that you have shut your doors; that you are no longer. I gave you five to 10 minutes of my life (‘cause damn those lines can be long!) twice each week, in order to caress the rim of your styrofoam cup with my lips, and satisfy my salivary glands with your cheese bagels with cream cheese. 

I greatly admire what you stood for. You stood to serve fresh, homemade delicacies, to bring a community of students together, and to brandish school pride with your SFU Burnaby origins.

Alas, it took a mere 10 years for your small, local business to be trampled upon, smothered, thwarted by an incredibly wealthy topless mermaid, who straightens her green crown, flips her flowing locks, and takes a duckface selfie before hauling her corporate ass through those doors.

And you have left me gut-wrenched, grief-stricken — a piece of my caffeinated soul lost forever.

I’ll be honest, your mochas taste a bit like burnt rubber, but it sickens me to envision hordes of students soon blindly feasting their tastebuds upon plastic croissants that conspire against our stomachs, or seductive tongues tickling our ear canals with lies of authentic ‘cuisine de France’ — all for five times the price.

You were local, you were fresh, you were honoured as part of the SFU community.

Tears now glisten down my now sunken, Renaissance-depriven cheeks!

Starbucks has undermined the inextricable values of small, independent business, and with it a sizeable portion of SFU pride. It’s brought further shame upon this campus by hiding under a visage of promises which include “creating community social space,” and “improving areas,” as the director of Ancillary Services Mark McLaughlin so justly stated.

I scoff! You, Renaissance, accommodated the same community social space. In fact, my beloved, you had no choice, for you housed the exact same number of square feet to offer our cranky, burgeoning academics. And believe me, my bruised hip-bones can attest to the fact that you were most definitely not short on table-space.

As for “improving areas,” allow me to be frank: what the hell does that mean?

Oh, the irony! What does this topless mermaid have that you do not? Ambiguity? Diabetes? High cholesterol? Boobs?

I understand that you still have two locations on our corporate-laden campus, and that these locations are only a three-minute saunter apart from each other, but put simply, losing you, Cornerstone, means losing one of three dear friends; one who makes me feel like the SFU student that I am, and who understands that my wallet is in tatters by cheaply medicating me with the lifeblood of pure, black, liquid gold.

And now we have no choice but to let this witless mermaid twerk an espresso shot into our sleepy mornings, contaminating our psyches with falsities of what defines valuable (and successful) business.

Sure, your mochas are shit, but the entity that is you, and your home made toasted cheese bagels with cream cheese, will remain in the hearts and minds of Cornerstone-going coffee addicts forever.

Goodbye, Renaissance at Cornerstone.

Your sorrowful sipper,