Students become future coffee entrepreneurs

Cole Schmitt, Online Editor-in-Chief

Discovering opportunities for a school-run business has been a unique assignment for students in Kathy Ricketts’ Entrepreneurship and Intro to Business class over the past week.Teacher of the project, Kathy Ricketts, said she has wanted to do it for a while but COVID-19 disrupted it and now they were finally able to try out the business project. 

“Probably a year ago, [Chris] Holborn and I went to Shawnee Heights and Washburn Rural and looked at their coffee shops and how they operate their coffee shop, what they offer to the students,” Ricketts said. “So then we started brainstorming and talking to different people here at the high school and in the district about maybe starting one as a school run business.”

After Ricketts and Holborn brainstormed, the planning just had to be done to put it in the students’ hands. 

“I think it would be a great opportunity for the high school students when the freshmen are up here and then learning how to run a business, and what it takes to operate a business effectively and successfully,” Ricketts said. “The students have done market research about just seeing if the current high school students are interested in having a coffee shop or not.”

Once the students generated their own questions for the high school population, many pushed them out on social media platforms to get a large response from their peers. Once those came back, it was time to analyze the data.

“A lot of people wanted a coffee shop,” junior Jonathan Wefald said. “I think it’d be cool, but I mean, I’m not a big coffee person but we don’t have any stores in the high school. It’d draw a lot of people I think.”

A big question from a lot of the students wanting a shop in the school was which brand it would be. Senior Rhys Phipps was surprised by what many came back with.

“Majority of the kids would like some sort of coffee shop,” Phipps said. “When we asked them what type they said either Dunkin Donuts or Radina’s, which I thought was really surprising because I thought people would want Starbucks more. I really liked the project, it was fun to see what kids from our school would like in a coffee shop.”