Coming Soon – New Coffee Shop

Store addition to open new experiences for special education students


Photo by: Abby Warner

Old signage in front of the upcoming coffee shop.

Rachel Keeler, Journalist

   Judith Osterberg and Hadleigh Houghton, special education teachers, have a goal to allow their students to have more employability skills and job opportunities. One way they think will help is to open a new student-run coffee shop. 

   “I think the coffee shop will help our students learn the job and social skills, aside from the ones they learn already. This shop will also be located where the old snack and milk bar used to be,” said Houghton.

   The school already offers a peer connections program to allow students to interact with others who take the class.  They have a goal to give their students the most interaction, job experience, and real-life simulation possible.  However, this program is not quite enough. 

   “The shop idea was brought up because we were already going to a coffee shop called The Table in front of the JaxNaz Church, right off of M-50. We started thinking, what if we could do that here,” said Osterberg. 

   They would no longer need to transport students back and forth, increasing the time students would be able to work.  The coffee shop is also in the process of working with the food company at the school to provide healthy, affordable options as well.

Mrs. Osterberg and Mrs. Houghton’s classes are eager to get new job experiences. (Photo by: Judith Osterberg)

   “We are planning on having different flavors of iced coffee, hot coffee, smoothies, and hot chocolate.  We decided on multiple different flavors to jumpstart the program without overwhelming the employees,” said Houghton.

   These teachers want to show their students what it is like when you are employed, but they want to ease them into it and eventually add more items to the menu. Houghton and Osterberg both agreed that they wanted the coffee shop to be affordable. 

   “We do not want to make much off of each item, but we want to be able to afford our supplies and machines.  We will also accept cash or card, but we mostly want our kids to learn,” said Osterberg.

   It is important to put the coffee shop into motion as soon as possible to influence as many students as possible.

   “Our plan right now is to hopefully be open by Christmas break,” said Houghton. “It has been challenging to get the materials we need because of shipping delays and lack of supplies.”

   Even with the delays, they are still hoping to produce business for the students by Christmas. 

   “I am most looking forward to seasonal events we could have while getting our students interacting with other peers and adults,” said Osterberg. “I am also excited to see how their confidence grows with their job skills.”

   Creating a coffee shop would allow the student body to interact with each other, along with the employees gaining confidence and work experience.