Squash Blossom revamps ad campaigns, introduces discounts to attract students

After moving downtown three years ago, Squash Blossom started new advertising campaigns at the beginning of the semester to attract students. Their efforts included discounts and signage on campus. (Jack Fitzpatrick/DD)

Tucked away between Pomo Pizzeria and The Turf Irish Pub along First Street is the brightly colored cafe Squash Blossom.

Squash Blossom started in Glendale as a small catering company 15 years ago. Three years ago it moved to downtown Phoenix, turning into a breakfast and lunch cafe.

“I wouldn’t choose anywhere else. Squash Blossom thrives off the downtown atmosphere,” cafe owner Brian Lester said.

Squash Blossom is located just blocks north of the Downtown Phoenix campus where more than 10,000 ASU students are enrolled.

The business targeted those students, eventually succeeding in drawing them the several blocks from campus.

“I have seen a lot more students here, and I think it’s due to our advertising on campus,” said Lisa McGuire, server and criminal justice student.

At the beginning of the fall semester, Squash Blossom started using a sign near Taylor Place, but that didn’t work as well as Lester was hoping.

“It kept getting moved. Not vandalized, but somebody would move our signs, so we eventually stopped putting them out,” Lester said.

Other deals created to attract downtown students include a 20 percent student discount and a $10 brunch deal on Sundays.

“We advertised more to reach the downtown students,” Lester said. “I just want to be able to let students know what we can offer them.”

Despite the increased efforts to reach ASU student’s there are still services students don’t know about.

“I’ve eaten at Squash Blossom a few times,” journalism junior Cierra Eubank said. “But I wish I had known about the free delivery freshman year when I lived in Taylor Place.”

During the week, Squash Blossom is a popular spot for downtown businesspeople taking their lunch breaks, while students usually stop by on the weekends, Lester said.

“On weekends is when we do most of our business with students,” he said. “Sunday brunch is a big hit.”

Squash Blossom describes their food as “live and local.” The cuisine varies from pumpkin pie pancakes to a caprese lamburger to a chicken focaccia bread sandwich.

“People love us because we’re cheap, and our food is good!” McGuire said.

In the future, Squash Blossom hopes to continue to increase revenue flow and reach the downtown students.

“We are going to continue to come up with creative ways to market the cafe,” Lester said.

The cafe is located at 705 N. 1st Street and offers breakfast from 6am – 11pm and lunch from 11pm – 2pm.

Contact the reporter vcohen1@asu.edu.

Correction: Dec. 6, 2013

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated which businesses are adjacent to Squash Blossom. Those restaurants are Pomo Pizzeria and The Turf Irish Pub.