A new coffee kiosk opened at the end of the south ramp on Jan. 20 for the convenience of students who can’t make it to the fourth floor shop from their morning classes. As an extension of the original coffee shop, it will only sell drinks that are offered in the shop, and be open during seminars and second breakfast hour.
The coffee shop is run by 20 marketing students and other student volunteers, some of whom are students in need of extra job development skills. Six of the more experienced volunteers were assigned to transfer over to the kiosk and will rotate between working the kiosk and the shop.
The idea of the kiosk was the brainchild of a committee made up of student representatives from Family And Consumer Sciences, marketing and woodshop classes.
“A group of kids last school year got together with teachers and students to remodel the coffee shop,” special education teacher and head of the coffee shop Julie Paradise said. ”The kids suggested that it’s hard for everybody to get to the fourth floor and it would be easier to have another place in the school.”
Junior Trent Burnum is a part of that committee and also has learned how to be the bookkeeper of the shop. Now working in the shop during third hour, Burnum is one of the volunteers who will move to the kiosk.
“I think it’s a really cool program trying to help the kids with special needs learn job skills; it’s very important to find a role they can do in life,” Burnum said. “We also want to try and make more profit so we can donate more to charities.”
Most of the shop’s profits go to helping families in need or providing students with extra opportunities to develop job skills, but due to the coffee shop’s decreasing sales recently, they aren’t able to help as many people with their profits. In August, the team came up with the idea of a kiosk to raise sales. Paradise suggested the new kiosk be built by night maintenance custodian Price Wright, who also helped paint and decorate the coffee shop on the fourth floor.
Paradise provided wood, and Wright turned to his sketchbook. After the rejection of about 10 sketches, they agreed on the current one: wood panels and shelves emblazoned with a steaming cup of coffee, and a rolling cart with a “Columbia Brew” sign. Wright began building in November, covering up the spot where the old student store used to be.
“I just took the background of that old beat up wall with the glass and just went over that,” Wright said. “I came up with an idea, a design to catch attention.”
Wright is a certified carpenter, and has been working at East since 1999. When asked to take on the construction, he didn’t hesitate to agree.
“I came here to serve, I didn’t come here to be a leader or take positions,” Wright said.
While Wright didn’t get paid extra to do the work, he believes it’s all part of his duty to East. The committee plans on rewarding him with a Visa gift card.
“We were looking at something simple, but he made it so much more beautiful and something that’s a part of the school. It will be there long after we’re gone,” Paradise said.