Posted February 13, 2018

Student-run Saxbys opens in Speakman Hall

The café, opened as part of an experiential learning program, will donate all of its proceeds from its grand opening day to fund scholarships for students. Saxbys will match 100 percent of the donations. 

Video Production: Gina Benigno and Louis Peluyera
In a collaboration between Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management and locally based chain Saxbys Coffee, a unique café recently opened in Speakman Hall. What makes the location different? It’s managed and staffed by students, from baristas to the café executive officer. 
The opportunity, developed through Saxbys’ Experiential Learning Program (ELP), allows students to take charge of individual Saxbys locations and provides direct experience for students to learn how to run a business. 
Julia Maass is the student café executive officer of the new Saxbys location on Main Campus. Maass, a senior tourism and hospitality management major, will center her entire semester on running the store as a part of her senior internship.
“I didn’t think they would let me do this as a 22-year-old,” Maass said. “Every day has been a new challenge and a new experience that I haven’t had before.” 
The program has allowed Maass to put what she learned in her courses to the test. She said many of the leadership and human resources theories she learned in her classes have been essential in her new work environment. Her responsibilities range from training and managing her 60 student employees to making sure the shelves are stocked and the café is profitable.
The café opened at the start of the spring semester and has already seen a high volume of customers. An official grand opening, during which customers can pay what they wish, is planned for Feb. 13. To mark the grand opening, the café will be staffed that day with Temple “celebrity” faculty and staff baristas. 
“All the money we raise [during the grand opening] goes to charity,” Maass said. 
The proceeds from the grand opening event will go to the Saxbys Fellowship, a student scholarship program that will directly help Temple students with college expenses. Saxbys will match 100 percent of the money raised to double the donation.
The scholarship fund is a perfect fit for the Temple-made store. Although the new café is part of the Saxbys brand, the location is distinctly Temple. The space was designed by architecture students, and the art on the walls was created by Tyler School of Art students and graduates. There are hidden Temple flourishes everywhere, including a Temple “T” that Maass pointed out on the end of the coffee counter.  
“It's a fully Temple space,” Maass added. “It’s great. You get to come in and hang out and know you’re a part of this.” 
—Hansen Bursic