Brewing Up Opportunities

Student-run Scottie Joe’s coffee shop opens at Highland Park High School

After months of brewing up business plans and sourcing java, the student-run Scottie Joe’s coffee bar is open on the third floor of Highland Park High School. 

Junior and senior students from the Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) program manage the business operations and marketing, and young adults from the school’s 18+ transition program staff the coffee shop. The shop was made possible through a partnership with Credit Union of Texas.

“This is really what it’s all about – real-world experiences for kids,” said HPISD Superintendent Tom Trigg. “And kids, it’s great to have a grand opening, but you know what? The hard work really starts now, because you guys are going to be working together, you’re going to be collaborating, you’re going to have to have schedules, you’re going to have to follow the profits … on and on and on, things that are really going to prepare you for real-world experience.” 

District officials, students, and staff celebrated the shop’s grand opening on March 7. 

Students in the business design and leadership program have worked on mission statements, done market research via surveys among students and teachers to learn about the types of coffee and price points that would do best, and learned about supply chain issues.

Credit Union of Texas vice president of community engagement Desmond Bibbs said the project aligns with the type of projects the credit union supports, and he’s excited to see it come to fruition.

“I’ve had an opportunity to come into the classroom settings, and these students are way smarter than me,” Bibbs said. “The ideals, the level of creativity is overwhelming, and so we couldn’t be more proud of this partnership, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can continue to build on this foundation.”

Brooke Benedict of the district’s Moody Innovation Institute said, “It’s really fun, and (the students) are some of the best salespeople I’ve ever met.”

Junior Paul Flowers said he’s excited.

“We find ourselves amazed at how Scottie Joe’s gives and keeps on giving – a treasure trove of opportunities,” said Flowers. “The 18+ students have from this business accumulated real-time job experience. This experience … became the seed for another fruit – increased social interaction. This blessing has boosted their confidence and has produced results sweeter than the ice caramel latte (I had).”

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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