Campus Auxiliary Services recently entered into a partnership with Geneseo alumnus-created Enertia Beverage, selling the company's Vital Energy drink on campus as part of an initiative to support sustainability and local businesses.
This collaboration was made possible by CAS's decision to abandon an 11-year-long agreement with PepsiCo Inc. in order to enter a contract with Coca-Cola Co. The new agreement allows for 20 percent of beverages sold on campus to be non-Coca-Cola products.
CAS is using 5 percent of that flexibility to support women and minority-owned businesses and the other 15 percent to purchase products from local businesses, which CAS defines as companies located within 100 miles of campus.
"We want to be able to offer students what they want," said Mark Scott, executive director of CAS.
"The change in contracts was absolutely worth the switch."
Enertia Beverage is a Rochester, N.Y. business partially owned by Scott Baron, a 2008 graduate of Geneseo's accounting program.
"College campuses are our main demographic, so this partnership with CAS is definitely positive," Baron said. "There is nothing negative about it."
Baron said he is optimistic that the influence of Vital Energy drinks will spread once students go home for breaks and share the product with new consumers in different areas. According to Sarah Gittere, general manager of campus dining, Vital Energy is already outselling the Coca-Cola-owned energy drinks offered on campus.
"I think these guys are going to be superstars," Scott said. "The brand will definitely attract the attention of big companies like Pepsi and Coke."
Baron, who credits some of his success to the basic fundamentals of business that he learned at Geneseo, said he has a message for the potential entrepreneurs at Geneseo:
"Follow your dream," Baron said. "If you have a good idea, pursue it or else someone else will take it."