Academics and Research / Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Coffee shop run, managed by HRTM students

The distinctive sound of the espresso machine cuts through the quiet murmurs of students studying together at Beans, DU’s newest spot for a cup of joe.

The small student-run coffee shop in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management (HRTM) building has been serving students, faculty and staff since October 2008.

HRTM director David Corsun envisioned Beans when he took the helm of the school in 2007.

“We had this fabulous facility, a real learning laboratory, but the space that is now Beans was completely underutilized,” Corsun says. “I knew we could use the space more productively and leverage it to educate students.”

Corsun taught a food and beverage entrepreneurship class in spring 2008. Under Corsun’s tutelage, the nine students in the class drafted the business plan for the full-service student-run coffee shop. The University invested $20,000 in new fixtures and furniture for the shop and opened in fall with a full staff of students.

“I’ve never worked in a coffee shop before,” says shop employee Caroline Talley, a junior HRTM major. “It’s been a great learning experience, and I’ll be able to apply what I’ve learned to my job when I graduate.”

Beans is open from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. –1 p.m. on Fridays. The shop serves a full range of coffees, teas, pastries and snack items.

Corsun plans to expand the shop’s offerings to include lunch items and smoothies. He is teaching a food and beverage leadership class spring quarter, in which students in the class will be responsible for marketing Beans, managing the other hourly employees, and monitoring and presenting the weekly profit-and-loss statement.

The students will also work on a special project to develop a plan to create a “Beans at Dusk” happy hour/wine bar on Friday afternoons. He also plans to work with the School of Art and Art History to provide rotating gallery space for student artwork.

Above all, Corsun hopes that Beans will create a culture of involvement in the school.

“We love having students hang out in the building; we want them there,” he says. “And people from a variety of offices on campus have been coming to Beans and holding meetings here — this is a way for us to build relationships and build bridges across campus.”

Comments are closed.