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Posted June 25, 2013

Temple student, a Saxbys barista, creates menu-worthy latte

McArdle's Banana Boat Latte, made with coconut, banana and almond syrups, reminds her of eating coconut flavored Italian water ice on hot summer days. (Photo courtesy of Saxbys Coffee)

Kelly McArdle, a junior in Temple’s Department of Religion, has fond memories of eating coconut flavored Italian water ice on hot summer days.

So when her employer, Saxbys Coffee, announced on their Facebook page that they would hold a contest to create a new latte for summer, McArdle knew which flavor she wanted to recreate.

Her entry, Banana Boat Latte, made with coconut, banana and almond syrups, won the contest with more than 3,000 votes from Saxbys’ Facebook fans and has been sold in Saxbys nationwide since June 1.

“It just reminds me of summer,” she said of her latte.

Since McArdle began working at Saxbys Coffee at Liberty Place in September 2012, she has paid close attention to what flavors customers have ordered, and she says her vigilence helped her win the contest.

“I noticed that when it was warmer, people would ask for coconut or banana syrup in their drinks, so I knew that people would like my drink,” she said. 

Even though McArdle knew how she wanted the drink to taste, nailing down the exact recipe took some time.

“I have been playing around with this drink for a while during lulls in the work day, even before this contest was announced. When I decided to enter, I was constantly asking my co-workers to try my experiments.”

In addition to getting her drink listed on the menu, McArdle won a $250 Saxbys gift card.

The contest also gave Saxbys' Facebook page a boost. Before the promotion, the company had around 3,000 fans. Afterward, more than 5,000 people had “liked” the company. McArdle said that Saxbys will have a similar drink contest next winter or spring.

So far, the Banana Boat Latte has been a hit with customers.

“I wanted to make something that people would actually like, not just something that only I would like,” she said. “I’ve had a couple people tell me that they like it.” 

Posted In: Student Success
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