Grounds of Being is an operating wing of the Divinity Students Association. As such, we are entirely student managed and operated, as well as a not-for-profit organization. As a non-profit, the coffee shop dedicates its entire operation to creating funds for Divinity School student life. Over the years, we have established a grant for conference travel, an emergency relief fund, and a research fellowship for Divinity students. We also support social events and club activities within the Divinity School. The shop has been in business, to varying degrees and capacities, since 1962.
To the greatest extent possible, GoB attempts to curate both quality and ethically responsible products for sale.
We source our coffee from Colectivo, an independently owned, Milwaukee-based roaster with a strong commitment to fair, direct trade. Our snack and dairy supplier, Testa Produce has an industry-leading commitment to green business practices (they even have their own wind turbine!) and empowering local farms. We also proudly partner with a number of locally owned restaurants on the South Side, doing our part to ensure the economic success of small businesses in our community. In our own operations, we compost all of our organic materials and use compostable plastic alternatives whenever we can.
Grounds of Being is located on the main quadrangle of the historic University of Chicago campus. You can find us in the basement Swift Hall, a classic, ivy-covered example of collegiate gothic architecture built in 1926. Please note that we are cash only! If you need to pick up cash before visiting, the closest ATM is just across the street in the Citi Bank at 58th and Ellis. Our mailing address is 1025 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL, 60637.
Grounds of Being is proud to provide high quality, reliable catering service for the University of Chicago community. Ordering catering from Grounds of Being is a fantastic way to support our independent, student-run operation.
We cater coffee, tea, pastries, snacks, and soft drinks. We will deliver your desired items within the main quad at UChicago and pick them up when you are finished. If you are interested in having GoB deliver catering for your next event, please fill out our full service catering form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also provide “quick order” catering for delivery within Swift Hall, or available to be picked up during business hours. This service is ideal if you only need a few boxes of coffee or tea for a meeting or a workshop.“Quick orders” may be placed over the counter up to half an hour in advance, provided we do not already have an order for your requested time. Ordering ahead is always better! If you’d like to place an order, click here to download the quick order form, and email it to email@example.com.
Please note that catering is only available during our business hours, and we can only deliver catering within the main quadrangle.
As one the few autonomous student spaces at the University of Chicago, Grounds of Being is committed to being a safe and inviting environment, and to promoting social justice on campus. We reject the ‘Chicago Principles’ of political neutrality and stand in solidarity with those groups in our community advocating for progressive and inclusive change, a stronger voice for all students and community members, and increased accountability from administrators to the student body and the Hyde Park/Woodlawn/Kenwood neighborhoods. Below, you can find links to some of the causes we care about on and off campus.