Student-run coffee shop opens doors, teaches life skills

Student-run coffee shop opens doors, teaches life skills
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A student-run coffee shop aimed at teaching teens and those with learning disabilities job skills in high school opens in Fredonia, Kansas.

Students and officials share what the buzz is all about at The Hive.

“I need an espresso, I need an espresso!”

There’s some busy bees behind the counter at The Hive as Fredonia Yellowjackets prepare coffee for customers, something these students have worked for from start to finish.

“We student managers helped build this whole cafe, and our menu, and we train our baristas, yeah, basically in the whole development of this,” said junior German exchange student Julia Ceitler.

“Do you want almond milk, half and half?”

Teens teamed up to design the menu, logo and layout of the shop, running the cafe for class credit.

“The graphic design kids, they know what they’re looking for and how to model it, and then the culinary kids are like the ones who know how to cook, and know what food to make, and what will sell good and they’ve experimented on that for four months now,” explained Baily Chaplin, a senior at Fredonia High School.

It’s been a long process for the students, but even longer for school officials who have worked towards making this dream a reality for the past seven years, to help students with disabilities.

“The real driving force behind The Hive will be our baristas, which are all students with exceptionalities…students who learn differently, students who are in various walks of life, and so they will come down and be our baristas as a form of community based training giving them life skills,” said Fredonia High School Principal Jamie Camacho.

For these students, each treat or drink they sell means money for their school, supporting programs for high schoolers.

“There’s even been talk of a Hive scholarship for our students, so taking that money that the community gives us, turning around, investing right back into our students, which in turn is an investment in our community,” said Camacho.

For these students, they’re not just making coffee, they’re making history.

“I think it’ll be a good deal, just something we can look back on, even I can tell my grandkids, you know, ‘Hey, I was part of that when it first opened up,'” said James Wright, a senior at Fredonia High School.

The shop is currently open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., located at 429 N. 6th Street in Fredonia, Kansas.