Originally planning to open for the 2021-2022 school year, Adina Boatright’s small business operations class postponed the opening of the campus coffee shop. Delayed due to incorrect construction of the kitchen, the shop concept offered students beverages and nutritionally approved food.
“Unfortunately, we ran into some snags with getting our coffee shop equipment. We are looking into vendors that are budget-friendly and funding options to try to secure the needed equipment to operate. Other factors such as COVID concerns, nutritional restrictions, and just researching and learning about small business have all taken longer than expected. Opening a new business is not an easy process, which is a reflection of how it is in the real world as well,” Boatright said.
The small business operations classes released a form to the school allowing students to enter name ideas for the shop. The class reviewed the submissions together and decided on the name Southern Grounds.
“Our main idea for the name was to go for a western type theme. Southern Grounds was decided because many people liked the double meaning behind it and there was no negative connotation towards the name,” senior Olivia Jennings said.
Thorough research and testing helped the class find drinks for the menu that fit the nutritional guidelines. The classes tested the products to see if they liked the recipe or needed to make modifications.
“It’s been very fun to try to start the business up, and while it’s been a lot of work, we hope that our efforts will prove to be worthwhile. Our whole class is seniors and we have kind of realized that this probably won’t benefit us, but we hope that we helped leave something to benefit the next group of kids to come through Southside,” senior Xander Naegle said.
The coffee shop created a unique opportunity for the school to learn about marketing and allowed students the hands-on experience of running a business.
“This has been a challenge, but we have relied on other DECA school-based enterprises to share their recipes and knowledge with us. I am very excited to see our shop become a central hub on campus and to see the support and excitement from students and faculty. It is a unique opportunity for our school and above all, it is a learning lab for our marketing students. We just appreciate everyone being patient and understanding as we try to get this project off the ground,” Boatright said.
Located downstairs in the main hallway by the learning stairs, a soft opening was scheduled to take place before the end of the school year. The shop was expected to be fully operational in the 2022-2023 school year. Students kept up with upcoming news and information about Southern Grounds through Instagram at @southerngroundsshs.