CTC has student run coffee shop | Local News

CTC has student run coffee shop | Local News

At the morning bell, students form a long line to get coffee or snacks from the CTC Coffee Shop.

In 2018, the business and marketing instructor at the Hopkins County Career and Technology Center, Sonya Shockley, had the idea to create a business where her students could get hands-on experience.

“With it being a business class, I was trying to run it more like an office type setting and make it more relaxed,” she said.

Shockley and her students originally had the idea to set up coffee pots in the back of the classroom to sell, but when she took it the principal, Pam Todd, the idea expanded from there.

“She mentioned that we had the catering kitchen in the building, and why not turn it into a school-based enterprise and do a full-on coffee shop for the whole school,” said Shockley. “We just kept coming up with more and more ideas.”

The students are at the CTC for about three hours each day. She said it is almost like a night class at the Madisonville Community College, and the coffee shop gives the students a break in the morning and afternoon.

“It would give them all a chance if they came out to the lobby to converse with one another and learn about some of the other programs and just make more school spirit,” said Shockley.

Having the coffee shop, her students learn how to take inventory, manage sales, make deposits, balance the books, set up, clean up, and customer service. She said the students do everything, she just supervises.

“They tell me what to get and how much to get,” said Shockley.

The students will set up in the CTC lobby on Mondays and Fridays in the morning and afternoon, and on Wednesdays, they have a mobile coffee and snack cart they take around to the classes instead of the table set up.

Jack Wagoner, a senior, said the coffee cart is fun, and you can see how a real business could work while in school.

“It kind of gives us the basics of how to do things in the business,” he said.

Hilary Curneal, a senior, said she really enjoys being at the CTC and working with the coffee shop.

“[Mrs. Shockley] really lets us put our own input into this, so it is not just her thing,” she said. “It is basically all student ran, and that is what I like about it.”

She said business and marketing is something she wants to go into after graduating from high school.

“I feel like it has given me the groundwork to go out and have that experience to be able to start into something like this,” said Curneal.

Maci Crowell, a senior, said this is her first year at the CTC, but she enjoys the class and working in the coffee shop.

“It gives you a chance to learn things more hands-on, which I really enjoy,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of fun experiences, and I’ve met a lot of people.”

Malorie Higgins, a senior, said this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. She said she has learned how important presentation is for a business.

“It really shows how it helps your business,” she said.

Shockley said she tries to make the coffee shop a learning experience, but also a fun time for the students. They have work aprons that are earned after a time, and they can personalize the aprons with the embroidery machine or vinyl machine.

“They get to take these with them when they graduate,” she said.

The students even get to vote for Student Employee of the Year, one for the morning and one for the afternoon.

“Those students’ aprons are displayed in the hallway outside the business classroom for the next school year,” said Shockley.

The coffee shop has become a big part of the school because they host events like the Halloween contest and the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest

“We are a small school, so we try to keep the school spirit going,” said Shockley.