PINEVILLE -- McDonald County High School seniors enrolled in business courses will have the option to be a part of the reopening of the McDonald County Student Chamber of Commerce Coffee Shop. Students will make plans concerning the business August through December and will open their business on Pineville's square at the end of the year.
Kristy Gilgen, MCHS business teacher and coordinator for the project, said the business will be much improved from where it was last year, noting students working at the business will be barista trained by December.
"They're going to do the barista training, so they have those skills too," Gilgen said. "And we're going to be buying the equipment, the chamber got a $50,000 grant," Gilgen said, pointing to the fact that the shop will be much larger in scale this year.
Gilgen said students will be a part of every aspect of the business, much like the school store she runs within MCHS.
"It'll be just like the school store I run in the building," Gilgen said. "They will do their deposits, they will do their orders, anything that goes with the business, they will do that side of it. You will also have ordering, your marketing, your social media."
Gilgen said the coffee shop will be beneficial for the business students as they'll take part in a hands-on learning experience, while becoming a certified barista along the way.
"We have had so much success with just the small-scale store in the high school," Gilgen said. "You can sit up there in a classroom, and you can lecture all day long. But when somebody has to do it hands-on, they actually get it. Kids love learning hands-on."
Gilgen said students participating in the shop will receive a class credit as well as a scholarship at the end of the year, which will be a portion of the business's proceeds.
Gilgen noted that students will make plans for the business alongside the chamber through the beginning of the school year, deciding what to serve, pricing, and other aspects of the business before opening.
"It's the whole world of business in one little coffee shop," Gilgen said. "You have your accounting, marketing, your customer relations," Gilgen said, expressing her excitement about the project.