Seira Lee

This is the cafe’s menu. The prices are reasonable and service is provided by RHS’s Pathways program.

The New Cafe
Roseburg High School has added a new cafe in the VoTech building. The coffee shop has a wide variety of low cost drinks such as teas, lemonades, slushies, and cappuccinos. There are three sizes to choose from (12 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz). Overall, the cafe sounds really promising and students should check it out. It is open before school starts and during lunch.
At face value, this new establishment is like any other start up cafe. There is a casual amount of employees and basic drinks to choose from. After an in-person interview with Sheri Carson, it is clear that the cafe is not only a place to stop for a refreshing beverage, but so much more in terms of helping others. She adds insight on how the Pathways program and the cafe work hand in hand.
“I think it’s important that it mentions that the Pathways program is included in this; they are the Special Ed students that have graduated already and are coming back in a transition program before they are out on their own. So they are getting experience that can help them possibly get a job and be a little more self-sufficient. Normally, they would not have this opportunity.”
This includes getting orders and handing the drinks out, delivering coffees to teachers, and previously helping out with Pride Night.
“They are people too, and a few years ago kinda got a raw deal because the government said they could compete in the industry for jobs just like anybody else. They used to have certain places for extra support. That’s why we had Sunrise Enterprises and things like that. They had jobs specialized for them.”
This means that people with a physical, cognitive, behavioral, or emotional condition have to get jobs like anybody else now. The Pathways program and cafe is created in hopes to better prepare them for the workforce.
This coffee shop is paid for by grant money selected for school-based enterprises and has various sponsors from other RHS programs. The programs include the Culinary program, FCCLA, FBLA, and Pathways. The Woodshop students built the cabinets, and Drafting designed them. This was a collaborative effort involving the classes in the Career Technical department. They purchased products from Bigfoot Beverages and the WebstaurantStore. The cafe received a little bit of the Measure 98 funds, but the main grant was from the school.
Sheri Carson explained who the employees are and what they are preparing for the future. “Well, right now we are just using our Pathways program, some of my culinary students, and FCCLA students to run it because we weren’t sure it was going to open this school year. And then we finally got the go ahead, so we didn’t have anything set up, but it will be an application process.” The application process will be open in a few weeks.
She also says the cafe has been pretty good these past few weeks. When asked if there has been any bad customer interactions, Carson said, “So far, no because they know if there is an issue, they’ll make us shut it down. So the long lines are there and we are moving as fast as we can. Right now they are doing pretty good because some of them are working in food service out of school.”
When the employees are confronted with the long lines and high demand they act accordingly. “They’ve been pretty good about it and they are helping train the other ones that haven’t worked in food service before, and you can’t take it personally. I mean, everybody is in a hurry, everybody wants what they want. You can just apologize, ‘Sorry I’m out, and they’ll either find something else or they won’t get anything.”
Many students have mixed opinions on the new establishment. Freshman Aries Lee has this to say about the new cafe: “The lemonade was pretty good; there were a lot of people there though.”
Ninth grader Kirra Davidson said, “The slurpees were good, cheap, and they served fast. The strawberry lemonade was pretty good too.”
Bethany Sanderlin has been to the cafe and tried their new, flavored lemonade. “The strawberry lemonade was pretty good, but the juice was a little syrupy.”
Tenth grader Ashton McNeil has mixed feelings on the cafe’s service, saying “The strawberry lemonade was delicious and the service was mid and kind of aggressive.”
Morgan Murphy tried the cappuccinos. “My favorite drink is the French vanilla; it’s good until you’re halfway through, and then it tastes bitter. The service was good though.”
Considering the varied reviews, the drinks and service may need some improvement. Although, students undeniably like the cafe since they keep on coming.
The cafe still has room for growth and development as do all new things. There is clearly a lot of effort and time put into this. It works because there will always be those two grade levels that are not able to leave the campus so this cafe provides them with drinks they may not be able to get during school hours. There are prodigious amounts of potential for this, It may be bigger in the future and develop into a proper establishment like the RHS student store.