Wayne Carter

Student-Run Coffee Shop Teaches Business Skills and Helps Others

Students learn business and marketing by running a coffee shop at the school.

Getting teenagers out of bed in the morning isn’t easy, but once a month, the Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School Tigers in McKinney are on campus around dawn.

A group of students run the Tiger Clawfee House Bistro, a student-run business, selling coffee and tea to school faculty.

"We want to make them feel welcome," student Nicole Golphin said. "We talk about things like how’s life in general. We get to connect on ways other than what’s one plus one."

Being baristas is more than just a way to give back to their teachers.

The students partnered with local coffee shop owner Mark Lichty, of Honi's Coffee House at Brookhaven Church.

"The kids took a hold of it and designed and branded the label," Lichty said.

The business was originally planned as a one-year fundraiser, but was so successful and beneficial to the students and teachers, the school chose to keep it going.

Of course now, the students who started it will soon graduate and now are training others to take their place and keep the business going. The students know the seed they planted isn’t done growing and the lessons to be learned are as big and bold as a cup of Tiger Clawfee.

The students expanded their business from just offering coffee before school but also accepting catering jobs, where they serve their coffee at events and parties.

The students have also been offered summer employment at Lichty's coffee shop.

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