Almost anchored – cafe close to completion
October 17, 2016
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By the time 7 a.m. rolls around, Shores students will enjoying their morning cup of coffee steps away from their first-hour class, beginning in the next couple of weeks.
The cafe passed the final health inspection on Oct. 6, and a grand opening will be held at the end of October to celebrate the student-run coffee shop in the LMC.
“It is surreal to be a part of building the cafe,” said senior Taryn Dean, a second-year marketing student. “It started from an idea, and now, it is becoming more than a vision. I am really excited to get experience by working in the cafe.”
Students in the business department, like Dean, will open Anchor Cafe before school from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and after school from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
As the business develops, the hours of operation and drinks served will also evolve. At the beginning, the Anchor Cafe will offer six drinks, including light and dark roast coffee from Magnum Coffee beans, hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, tea, and strawberry banana smoothies.
The idea for a coffee shop in the LMC began in the summer of 2015 when principal Jennifer Bustard and media specialist Anne Brainard came to business teacher Judy Hunt for help executing this vision.
Hunt said she was excited by the idea and eager to give her students a real-life experience to apply the skills they had learned in her marketing class.
“The real-life experience for students and those working in the cafe is exciting to me,” Hunt said. “The cafe is for real; this is not a drill or a simulation.”
When she introduced the idea to her students in December of 2015, Hunt said they were equally as excited. She added that the project has taken longer than expected, due to unexpected delays and the complexity of the project.
“It has been a learning curve because we have not done this before,” Hunt said. “So much of the health department standards, smart snack requirements, training students working in the cafe, and learning Square technology is really complicated and all new to us.”
While Hunt said she is learning the ins and outs of starting a business, so are her students.
“They are learning how to order supplies, to make recipes, to price drinks based on cost and how to serve customers,” Hunt said. “The students are learning how to start a business from scratch and learning about food safety and sanitation to accounting to money management to how to take inventory.”
This hands-on experience has helped students involved gain experience and further their interest in marketing.
Senior Nick Nawrocki, a second-year marketing student, said he has realized his passion for marketing during the process of building the Anchor Cafe.
“I definitely found that I enjoyed marketing and business programs (by working in the cafe),” Nawrocki said. “Building this business has made me want to go into marketing and advertising at Northwood.”
The process of developing the cafe has allowed Nawrocki and other marketing students to learn from professionals in the area.
“My favorite part was picking out the name,” Nawrocki said. “Mrs. Hunt brought in someone from Revel [a local marketing firm] to help with deciding what we want our image to be and how the name affects our logo.”
Along with designing the image of the cafe, the marketing students also had to help decide how the cafe itself looked.
“My favorite part was choosing the products we use,” Dean said. “We did this by doing a price comparison and deciding what products we thought our customers would like. I also liked picking out the countertops and flooring design.”
Dean said she discovered that deciding the details in such a large project can be overwhelming.
“The rush of trying to keep a time schedule and getting everything done on time was stressful,” Dean said. “There is a lot more that goes into starting a business than I ever anticipated.”
As Hunt and her students have learned, one of the biggest things they learned is that it is complicated to start a new business.
“I learned how little I know about starting a coffee business from scratch,” Hunt said. “It has been so much fun. I love when I show people the actual cafe after talking so much about it. They come through the doors to the LMC, and they are wowed.”