Students influence Belton economy

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells

UMHB has been an integral part of the economy of Belton since its arrival in 1886, after it split from Baylor College in Independence. Now, UMHB brings in an undergraduate campus enrollment of 3,900 students and employs about 400 full-time faculty and staff.

Though Belton may be small, with its population of just over 19,000 residents, it has a thriving small business economy and bustling downtown. While there are plenty of places to spend your money here in Belton, there are some local landmarks that stand out to UMHB students.

While also bearing an on-campus location, UMHB’s Starbucks does not have a full menu and leaves some students still craving their caffeine fix.

The first Starbucks in Belton, located off of I-35 South and Head Rd., has only been open for four years, and is amazingly the only Starbucks between Temple and Round Rock. This circumstance paired with UMHB students makes for a crowded coffee shop, according to barista Jeremy Kudlac.

“We are one of the busiest stores in the area,” Kudlac mentions as he quotes figures between $4000-$7500 per day. “Our busiest time of the year is when the semester first starts and when it ends, and it really dies down over summer and winter break.”

Luckily, the new Starbucks is less than a mile away from campus and accepts gift cards.

Arusha’s, the cool hipster hangout for Beltonians and Crusaders alike, is the culminating dream of Tunisian and UHMB alumnus Hatem Couchane, who worked in the coffee industry for 15 years prior to Arusha’s opening. Couchane purchased the building after the previous coffee shop there decided to sell.

The relaxed and unhurried atmosphere of the downtown coffee shop lends for a perfect place to study, play pool or escape the stresses of class for a few minutes (or hours). All coffee beans are roasted in-house every week, and there are over 100 tasty and exotic teas to choose from.

Frosti Cones
Frosti Cones, a staple for UMHB students, has served Crusaders for over seven years. Located on the corner of Waco Road and 13th street, Frosti Cones is a can’t-miss snack spot for students returning to school at the tail end of summer.

Even furry companions of Frosti Cones guests get snow cones during the hot months of summer.

There is something about Chick-Fil-A that the Cru just can’t get enough of. While there is an on-campus Chick-Fil-A restaurant, it doesn’t offer menu items like mini chicken sliders or Chick-Fil-A’s famous milkshakes. Thursday nights, however, students can go to the Temple location off of N. 31st Street to get their nearly free meal on college night. The purchase of an entree buys students wielding their Cru Card a free drink and fries from the Christian establishment.

Author: Tori Van Hooser

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