Students at St. Joseph Catholic High School will soon be opening a coffee shop called Cup of Joe’s, as part of the Life Skills program at the school. The program was put together by Classroom Support Teacher Shauna Baird and Life Skills Teacher Victoria Baker.
“Early in October, I went to our Director of Inclusive Education looking to find some truly authentic inclusion opportunities for our Life Skills students. I presented this idea of a coffee shop and it took some planning, which began in October. After some dialogue with board members, the principal, and others, we managed to put together this amazing opportunity for our students,” Baird says.
Baker feels that this will be a great experience for students, for a multitude of reasons.
“They’re getting practice working in customer service, working with vendors, and money handling skills so they’re ready to be contributing members of the workforce once they leave us,” she says.
The plan is for proceeds from the coffee shop to be reinvested into the Life Skills program.
“Once we start making a bit of money, our kids are going to look into donating some materials to programs that may need extra help and also getting some things for their own programming as well,” Baird says.
A few local businesses were instrumental in helping put this program together for students at St. Joe’s.
“We really want to thank Coffee Gal, who has been an amazing partner for us, along with Wapiti Bean Co. and Water Express. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to take on this venture,” Baker says.
Most hot beverages will be $2.50 each, which includes everything from an americano, to a latte, hot chocolate, french vanilla, and a dirty chai latte. The hours will be extended for the grand opening on May 31st, as the coffee shop will be open from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. After that, it will be open on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.