Photo Credit Jan Garrison
Student business will see if interest in coffee, tea, and smoothies percolates during summer session.
June 24, 2015

Need a cup of coffee for that walk across the Culver Academies campus? How about a strawberry smoothie to cool off? Or, maybe, a cup of specialty tea to help wind down in the evening is your – well – cup of tea.

If any or all of the above sound appealing, the Rubin Café, located in the foyer of the Roberts Hall of Science, has the answers this summer.

The café is open for business seven days a week with David Dilts ’15 (Carmel, Ind.) serving as the manager. Dilts said the student-run business will be selling its full line of Republic of Tea products, coffee, coffee drinks, smoothies, Vitamin Water, hot chocolate, muffins, and energy food bars.

The café will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m. during the week, from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Dilts added those hours may be adjusted based on demand during the summer.

The idea of opening the Rubin Café was first brought up by Harry Frick, the former director of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur. Current director Alex Kurrelmeier took the concept to the class of 11 students overseeing the business during the school year and the decision was made to stay open during the summer session.

Contributing factors considered by the group included the success of the campus store and the snack bar during the summer. While Dilts anticipates selling a lot of smoothies to campers, he believes the core of the café’s business will come from the counselors and other summer staff. The café will be taking cash, credit cards, and has refillable gift cards, he added.

Dilts volunteered to manage the operation and recently selected 14 people to serve as baristas. They are all unattached summer staff who will be working during their free time, he said. Three have experience and everyone went through a training session before campers arrived over the weekend. Two people, Kathy Farmer and Kayla Callaway, worked as baristas during the school year.

Something new for the café is the introduction of Jarhead Java coffee, Dilts said. The management team was asked to consider using the company’s bold roast coffee beans by Col. Warren Foersch, deputy commandant. Fifty percent of the profits from Jarhead Java go to the Semper Fi Fund. Semper Fi provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for injured and critically ill members of the United States armed forces. It has received an A+ rating from Charity Watch and a four-star (best possible) rating from Charity Navigator with 94 percent of its budget going to its programs and services.

Along with serving Jarhead Java at the café, Dilts said people can purchase two-pound bags of the ground coffee to take home for $17 each.

While he was part of the entrepreneurial class that operated the café during the school year and volunteered to manage it during the summer, Dilts said he is undecided about what he wants to study to when he heads to Syracuse University this fall. He has already signed a National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at the Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse.

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Posted in Alumni Culver Academies Summer
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