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D&E Students Start New Business Venture on Campus
Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on November 13, 2013 @ 6:51PM
Created on November 13, 2013 @ 4:55PM

For a group of students at Davis and Elkins College, a cup of coffee isn't just a cup of coffee, it's business.

Members of the Phi Beta Lambda business fraternity recently opened the Beta Bean Cafe, a fully run student operation.

"We had to purchase the kiosk from Food Concepts, we had to purchase an espresso machine and all the equipment. We did a loan plan with Caribou, so we get their pots, their signage, all their marketing materials," said Frank Cottrill, manager of Beta Bean, and president of Phi Beta Lambda. 

Those students laid out all of the plans for the business venture, and saw them through for the past year. While it wasn't always easy for them, it was definitely a learning experience.

"It was a little harder because I am a full time student, and I expected us to be open last spring and for this semester to be a lot easier when I volunteered to become manager of Beta Bean Cafe, so it was a stressful semester up to this point," said Cottrill.

"It's been a learning experience from the word 'go'. I think they were somewhat upset, and were just like 'we want to get this going', and they were ready to go, but we said, 'we've got to take a step back and make sure we're pretty deliberate and do the right thing here," said Scott Goddard, vice president for student affairs at D&E.

Through trial and error they were able to open last week, and school officials said the hands-on experience is what matters the most.

"We all know the real world is tough right now. It is tough to stand out in the crowd, and if we can get our students out there with some real experience right here on campus, that's going to make them really marketable," said Goddard.

So far, so good for the cafe.

"Last week was our first week open, and our average daily sales were double what we need to make to break even," said Cottrill.

Officials said they hope to continue programs like this in the future. 


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