Warrior Coffee Company serves up engaging experiences for students at Fairview Park

One student-led program at Lewis F. Mayer Middle School is literally good to the last drop.

Since 2019, the Warrior Coffee Company has served a variety of delicious, hot beverages in the morning to staff at the middle school and high school building. The program teaches students important lessons with a hands-on and engaging experience.

Each morning, approximately five Mayer Middle School students spend one period preparing and delivering hot beverage orders throughout the building. According to Mayer Middle School Intervention Specialist Claire Kohl, on some school days, students prepare and deliver as many as 15 individual orders in the building. 

“We are working on a lot of job skills, including listening and following directions,” Kohl explained. “We also talk about starting a job and seeing it all the way through, as well as teamwork. They really have learned how to work together in order to do this. Everyone takes on a specific role.”

The Warrior Coffee Company is set up like many traditional coffee shops. The company takes digital payments, has a customer punchcard to keep track of orders, and has a mobile coffee cart and a coffee stand where they can sell their products. 

Their prices, however, are certainly much more reasonable than other coffee houses: small beverages cost just $1.00, while large coffees cost $2.00. Ready Set! Coffee Roasters in the Gordon Square neighborhood in Cleveland graciously donates the coffee for students.

“When we go and do our deliveries, everybody has a job,” Kohl said. “Two of our kids really like to hand out the coffees. We have a special Warrior stamp, and they will stamp the punch card. We have a student who directs us and tells us exactly where we are going. We’ve really tried to make this very much a student-led activity so we as adults can kind of back off and let them run the show.”

The company also has a wide variety of options for its customers. Besides traditional hot coffee, other choices include iced coffee, hot tea, and bottled water. Options for coffee cream include the traditional half-and-half creamer along with vanilla and pumpkin spice-flavored creamer. Oat milk is also available for non-dairy customers. Hot tea options include Meyer lemon, lemon ginger, peppermint, green, and chai teas.

“A delivery from the Warrior Coffee Company every morning is always a bright spot in my day,” Andy Bruening, science teacher and regular Warrior Coffee Company customer explained. “They bring me my made-to-order Iced Chai Tea made with oat milk with enthusiasm, quality service and a smile. Everyone should get to experience John C. busting into their doorway saying, ‘It's coffee time!’”

“All the money goes right back into the business,” Kohl added. “We will use it for student reward activities. We try to plan events for Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day. So we will use money from our business to put those events on for our families.”

“The Warrior Coffee Cart program has been a great addition to the building,” Fairview High School Principal Chris Vicha expressed. “The students involved get real retail and customer service experience while the staff get to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or tea delivered to their classroom. Not only has this program helped improve the culture within the building, but it also allowed Fairview Schools to create and sustain another positive relationship with a small local business.”

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