As you all know, one of the new campus hotspots is Roasted. This coffee shop serves some of the best drinks on campus and on the weekends, offers hot foods to students at campus get-togethers on Greek Row. This café is also unique because it’s completely run by W&J students. So how did Roasted just appear on campus this spring and how did some college kids transform it?
The idea for Roasted first began in April 2011 when Professor Tim Murphy approached two of his students about a potential business venture. Sophomores at the time, Nick Pochiba and Dylan Haas listened to all he had to offer. The Science Center Café in the newly built Swanson Science Center was losing money. It did not have a good location on campus and lacked an extensive customer base. Sales were very low and much inventory was put to waste as expiration dates matured. Murphy warned the team that turning the business around would not be easy, but it could be done. His genuine belief in the ability of his students was the push that they needed in order to get started.
By the fall of 2011, with Professor Murphy’s help, Nick and Dylan drafted a business plan. After a review by Professor Rick Kinder, the financials of the plan were polished. The two were ready to present a W&J official with it in hopes of obtaining a loan to take over the business, but they were missing one important thing. They needed another partner.
Realizing that they both had different agendas and other obligations outside of class, the partners needed someone else who had the same passion to succeed in order to grow the business. He or she would also need to be an underclassman, who would carry the business forward after the founders had graduated. Their search led them to Preston Shaw. Studying accounting, with an interest in entrepreneurial studies, Preston fit the part. This trio was ready to turn over the business. They just needed the funds to do so. The process led them to Parkhurst’s General Manager, Mr. Aaron Weaver.
Aaron Weaver explained the financials, advising his protégés to do what he felt was necessary to cut costs. He offered a partnership between Parkhurst and Roasted, offering his assistance in order to supply both food items and industry tips. He was truly essential in helping the team make their idea a reality.
By mid November, a potential investor emerged. Mr. Denny McMaster, the Chief Financial Officer of the college, was ready to hear their pitch. After the presentation, he told them what he liked, what was good, and what needed to be revisited. He acted as a mentor for the trio, providing them with advice obtained from his own industry experiences. After working with Mr. McMaster, Nick, Dylan, and Preston were approved for a loan to buy the existing inventory and new items for the café.
The team is diverse, and their strengths all help to create individual pillars that support the business, other than just selling coffee. Nick is focused on operations, catering to customer service, orders, and improving the processes of the business. Dylan works on advertising, marketing, and Greek relations, while Preston takes care of billing, accounting, and record keeping.
After months of hard work and preparation, the trio opened the doors of Roasted for the first time on February 1, 2012. They offer a full selection of hot and cold drinks, along with pastries and breakfast foods to help you get your day started. Because of traffic trends, Roasted operates from 7:30 A.M. to 11 A.M. and 12:30 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. M-F, just in time for students’ first class and the start of the workday for the faculty and staff. The team personally invites their friends, professors, staff, and mentors to experience the difference that makes them… well… Roasted.