Student - July 11, 2018

Student café on campus: My Life’s Getting Better

Roelof Kleis

The largest space of Campus Plaza will soon house the long-awaited student café. It will be called MLGB: My Life’s Getting Better.

Ivy Shen in front of her café-to-be. © Roelof Kleis

‘Everyone’s life should be getting a bit better here’, explains Chinese entrepreneur Ivy Shen, who recently turned to the hospitality branch. ‘Yes, for me too’, she chuckles. MLGB is the first business she is starting. And she is somewhat nervous, she admits. She does have experience in the hospitality business. ‘I worked part-time in cafés and restaurants. Many Asians work in the hospitality branch.’ But her training, senior secondary vocational education for airport assistant, seemed to lead to a very different career.

The step toward her own business in Wageningen was taken with the help of a good friend, a WUR student who would rather remain anonymous herself. Shen: ‘We saw there was still space left for a café in Plaza. That’s when the idea arose: could we start a student café right there? A spot where students can get together and meet after a day’s study. According to my friend, there really is a need for such a spot.’

No real cafés
Well, yes: there is a grand café in Forum, and Orion has The Spot. But according to Shen, those are not real cafés as they are not open all night. MLGB will primarily be open six days a week, from 10:00 in the morning until (no later than) 02:00 at night. The target audience is the student community. ‘The concept will be adapted to their lifestyle and needs. This means we will organise games nights, movie nights and speed dates. And we are open to additional suggestions from the students.’

According to Shen, students can go there for a fun night at the café or for a bite at one of the fifteen tables of the restaurant. Furthermore, the space can be rented for graduation parties. Shen believes there is a great need for such a space on campus.

The restaurant of MLGB will serve sushi. ‘There already is Chinese and Italian food at Plaza’, Shen explains. ‘We want something different; something that is sustainable and healthy.’ The sustainable part should become apparent from the choice of ingredients. Shen: ‘Those will be as sustainable as possible, as that befits WUR, and because students care about that.’ The prices will also be adjusted to the student’s wallets. And Shen would like to have students who want to earn some additional money working in service.

The look and feel of MLGB will be ‘industrial and postmodern’. ‘With a lot of dark grey, brown wooden tables and metallic chairs.’ She cannot show any sketches yet, as it all still is in her head. Renovations have started this week and will last until 20 August. ‘But we will not officially open until 1 September. Once the paperwork will have been arranged.’ That is one thing she had miscalculated. ‘It all takes quite some time.’

Re:actions 1

  • Y.

    Hmmmm. someone must have spent an aweful of time to make MLGB, abbreviation for one of the most commonly used swearing expressions in China, sound normal.

    Smart eye-catching strategy? Maybe
    Bad choice of a name ? Definitely.

    It's like you walk to a cafe called FUCKU and the owner explains to you that it actually means "Fantastic Unique Coffee Kills Unhappiness"?

    Naah, I'll pass on this one.


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  • C.

    It might/might not be eye-catching strategy. There are a lot of names can be misinterpreted. If you say MLGB is swearing, how about NIKE SB.(sb: in Chinese web abbreviation means stupid people). Is Nike also swearing to their customers? We are not live in China, we cannot interpret this idea ONLY with Chinese thoughts. I think what’s most important is that the idea and the concept is good. At least we have a place to chill out when all the fast food bars are closed. And it provides students part time job opportunities.

    • Y

      Naah I knew someone is gonna bring out nike SB but that's a totally different story.

      Dunk SB (SkateBoarding) was a sub-brand of Nike, an American company who created this based on it's own language and culture. No problem with that. Really nice series btw but it's sales would have been MUCH BETTER in China if it were called differently.

      Here, an Asian restaurant/cafe/bar open by a Chinese catering entrepreneur was given a name of MLGB, and yet claiming that it was not meant to have any connection with the swearing word? I'm pretty sure the owner really want to call her restaurant "My Life's Getting Better" and it happened to be "MLGB", what a beautiful coincidence :)

      Nobody is criticizing the idea of having a place to chill-out and have nice food there. We could use some nice food and places to chill-out in the campus. It's just a strange way of calling the restaurant considering the culture/background of the owner.

    • y

      "We are not live in China, we cannot interpret this idea ONLY with Chinese thoughts."


      We don't live in China and not everyone in Wageningen speaks Chinese, hence if it is only offensive/impolite in Chinese but not in other languages then it's alright? So basically it is fine to use an acronym because Chinese is only 1 out of the 5000-7000 languages spoken world wide?

      I call this explanation "Brutally Unbelievably Lacking Logic & Somehow Hilarious In Truth"

  • stefan

    Mag ik eerlijk koofie aan jullie bieden? Ik ben in gesprek met Spot en WUR caterers over hun niet traceerbaar koffie maar ze willen niet luisteren :(

  • Pajeet

    Hdy bby. U single n redy 2 mingle?

    Show bobs pls

  • Marije Mulder

    Zou fijn zijn als er geen wegwerp en plasticbestek gaat worden gebruikt
    Niet alleen duurzaam voedsel maar ook alles daar omheen is belangrijk!
    Ieder ietsje minder plastic helpt de oceanen ;)

    • Henk

      Ja doei dat is niet postmodern

  • concurrentie

    En WUR maar roepen dat de binding met de stad zo belanrgijk is... En dus wordt er op de campus ruimte gemaakt voor weer een concurrerende plek waar je kunt borrelen, eten en je promotiefeest houden.

    • Pieter

      Ja jammer dat een van de ondernemers uit de binnenstad dit niet heeft opgepakt.