A busy business at Bobcat Bistro


BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Students at one KELOLAND school are already getting experience running their own business. Brookings High School students are serving up everything from coffee to smoothies. 

It’s a busy morning for these high school students. Plenty of orders are coming in before school starts at the Bobcat Bistro.

“We serve coffees, smoothies, and then some baked goods, so we’ve served scones, croissants, stuff like that and then we just got new flavors of smoothies and then we also have coffee, a chai tea latte,” senior Stephen Heesch said.

“In the fall we did pumpkin spice because that’s a really popular flavor during that time and in the winter we did peppermint,” senior Yaritza Carmona said.

Every Friday when there’s school, these students open up the Bobcat Bistro for staff. They even came up with their own recipes for the products.

“We come in early in the morning to start making coffee and the smoothies, we have an order form that we send out to the teachers through emails and we look at those and make the coffees,” junior Cassandra Whitaker said.

“The students who are doing this project are what we call capstone students, they’ve already gone through the ProStart program, which is the restaurant industry’s culinary classes in the high schools, so students learn how to run businesses, how to cook for commercial, and these students who are doing this have already taken that part of the class and this is kind of an independent study,” Family and Consumer Science and Culinary Arts teacher Megan Jaquet said.

The students are getting a taste of just how much work it takes to start and run a successful business. 

“They did a lot of prep, a lot of market research because they’re serving in a school we try to follow the food guidelines with the nutrition,” Jaquet said. “They did a whole presentation with our principal, our superintendent, the head of our food services here at the school to make sure we were in line with everything we needed to be to do our serving.”

Senior Stephen Heesch is hoping to get some experience before heading off to college.

“I always kind of wanted to pursue a career in the culinary world and I thought this would be the perfect class to do that and I knew you could get Serve Safe certified, so I thought it was a good opportunity for me to do,” Heesch said.

Not only are students learning what it’s like to run a business, they’re learning why it’s different from just cooking at home.

“It’s a lot more serious because using knives and stuff you could get burned with, so you have to be careful and pay attention but it’s great to learn new ways to cook that you wouldn’t be able to learn just sitting at your house,” senior Kylee Heaton said.

Students are also learning the importance of working together.

“We always pick each other up, if you fall behind someone jumps in to help you and finish it up so you just have to help where people need it,” Heaton said.

Giving students a unique way to get business experience.

“Right away when we first started it was a little more difficult than I thought it would be, but now that it’s a routine it’s become a lot easier,” Whitaker said.

Students who are in the ProStart class will be competing in a national competition in Washington D.C. They will be there May 7th through May 12th.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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