Beignets and hot chocolate are popular items at Cafe Du Monde.

Source: Kelley Miller / Getty

CLEVELAND – Freshmen and sophomore students at one innovative Cleveland high school are learning to be entrepreneurs not by studying text books, but by opening their very own coffee shop.

From designing the menu to customer service to bookkeeping, Lawyer’s Cafe is run entirely by high schoolers, with the help of faculty advisors, at John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership.

RELATED | Fresh Water Cleveland: John Marshall students set to launch Lawyer’s Cafe

Before opening in April, students received customer service training from Pete Mitchell, co-owner of Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and coffee training from John Johnson, who helped launch Rising Star Coffee.

“Financing, inventory, marketing, market research — they’re better prepared than 99% of the independent coffee shops that I’ve seen,” says Johnson.

Forty students had to interview and be “hired” into the program. They were then divided into four teams — customer service, marketing, research/development and finance/operations.

“They’re learning about operating coffee machines, dealing with money, everything that goes into running a small business and they’re doing quite well at it,” says Karin Connelly Rice, an editor who covered the cafe launch for Fresh Water Cleveland.

Students don’t get a paycheck here, but they do earn community service hours necessary for graduation. Those community service hours can be spent on field trips and college visits through the school.

For many, the experience is priceless.

“When I’m older I actually want to own my own business,” says Adalis Sanchez, who will be a sophomore next year. “So coming to John Marshall Business and Civic Leadership, I think, was a good opportunity for me.”



Article Courtesy of WKYC Channel 3 News Cleveland

Picture Courtesy of Getty Images

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