Students sell coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Link Library for Dr. Curt Beck’s entrepreneurial class. Photo by Kim Sleeper.
by April Bayer
Students from Concordia’s entrepreneurship class sold coffee and doughnuts at the main entrance of Link Library on Monday and Tuesday evenings for three weeks.
The feedback the students got from customers is being used to see if opening an extension of 10:31 Coffee in the library might be a successful business venture.
The project began when student workers from 10:31 approached Dr. Curt Beck, associate professor of business administration, about the possibility of testing how well coffee and snacks might sell in the library. 10:31 is currently located on the top floor of the Janzow Campus Center.
Beck said customers have repeatedly expressed interest in the development of a second 10:31 location on another part of the campus.
Beck’s entrepreneurship classes complete a project each fall that allows them to assist a local business in some way. He decided to use the partnership with 10:31 to provide an opportunity for students to learn about customer interaction and business development.
“(Students) get a great opportunity (to) actually apply what they’ve learned in class getting to hire people; manage people, products, prices (and) quality; and just that whole process of running a business,” Beck said.
Students set up a table in Link Library twice a week between Oct. 24 and Nov. 8. Each group was given five dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts and three pots of coffee to sell. The doughnuts sold out within a two-hour time period the first two nights.
Sophomore entrepreneurship student Anna Meyer said students provided a lot of positive feedback about being able to purchase snacks and drinks in the library, but many expressed interest in a wider variety of products being made available.
“I think it is a great idea because it can help students get energy from the coffee and doughnuts, and hopefully that energy will help them…push through the rest of their homework,” sophomore Amanda Segebart said.
Students are still analyzing the data and feedback they received. The project was only meant to serve as a trial run, and no decisions about a possible expansion of 10:31 have been made at this time.
“What I think myself and others in the class can take away from this experience is to…think things through and test the waters,” Meyer said. “Sometimes your perfect product that you thought out doesn’t work,…and you have to be okay with that. Otherwise, you’re never going to make a successful business.”