Behind ACC’s Beloved “Espresso Yourself” Cafe


Image via Angela Merlano

The entrance to the Espresso Yourself Cafe and bookstore at Arapahoe Community College. Taken Feb. 15, 2022.

Angela Merlano, Reporter

One of the many charms of the Arapahoe Community College (ACC) Littleton campus is the Espresso Yourself Café and bookstore on the first floor. 

Whether it’s the reliability of the deliciously smelling coffee bar, or the convenience of having everyday needs covered on-campus, it is the place that ACC students come back to time and time again.

The café gathers products from local and nation-wide distributors, including PepsiCo. ACC’s bookstore has their products delivered directly from manufacturers and distributors.

Jeff Hairfield runs the operation at the Littleton campus. Hairfield has previous experience working at colleges in Virginia, Indiana, and Tennessee prior to ACC. 

“To have a full blown café element like we’ve got here is what we don’t have in a lot of our stores across the nation.” 

The business operated at ACC works under Follett, founded in 1977. 

The whole idea to supply sufficient caffeination to ACC students started with the basics: a coffee maker and some cups.

“That’s how it got started,” Hairfield says, “at a very ground-level.”

Despite McDonald’s being within walking distance from the Littleton campus, and a few more refined eatery locations just a five minute drive away, Hairfield is confident about the aptitude of service in the Espresso Yourself Café.

The manager says: “We’re here to serve the community of ACC. We’re kind of like our own little planet.”

There are obvious benefits to having café and bookstore at the ACC campus. Arguably, the most prominent is the convenience. 

“They don’t have to go anywhere else… they get to park once,” Hairfield says. “They don’t have to leave to get nourishment, or a snack, or a cup of coffee.”

Hairfield is most appreciative of the customers he receives on a day-to-day basis. There is no set-type of coffee-grabber at ACC. The possibilities are limitless.

“We see the 18 year old freshmen, and we see the… retiree that is coming to take a class,” he says. “We get to see a wide variety of people.”

As manager, Jeff Hairfield’s favorite aspect of the operation is the diversity.

“In a cool way, we don’t have a typical type of customer, we get to see everybody – and that’s awesome.”

More information on the bookstore can be found on their store news and hours page.