You could of been mistaken for stepping into a metropolitan cafe, but that’s exactly what it felt like up at the Charleville State High School Hospitality Cafe trial this morning.
Five well mannered and hard working year nine students played host of the Cafe, running orders and serving up fresh scones and coffees.
Bernie Matthews,Head of Department, says the high school has these great hospitality services, so why not get something out of it.
“The Year 10 kids doing a certificate in hospitality have been running Cafe 10 for a couple of years now.
“However, it’s only ever been for internal use, with this great facility we have here, we wanted to expand upon that idea.
“So the kids in Year nine right through to Year 12 will actually run a cafe,” says Mr Matthews.
The kids are still yet to come up with a name for the Cafe, but today was just their first trial.
They invited some special guests along to try out their cooking and barista skills, and from all accounts it was a huge success!
The Hospitality Cafe is located at the heart of the High School, overlooking the well established and intriguing Harmony Garden.
“The whole principle is that people will come and do the School of Distance Education tour and then they come here for a devonshire morning tea.
“There will also be a bit of history involved, talking about the harmony garden,” says Mr Matthews.
Mathematics and Business Teacher Jemma Day will be overseeing the project as it grows to include the business students who will be working at a more ‘behind the scenes’ level.
Other sections of the school that will also be getting involved include the manual arts department who will have their wares on display for purchase, the ag plot behind the cafe will be used to produce the veggies for homemade chutney which will also be sold, and the art department will decorate the cafe with their artwork.
Principal Marcus Jones was the brainchild behind this wonderful concept, and it already seems like the kids are handling it well.
“I think the trial went really well, the kids made the scones this morning in the first period, so they were fresh and we did a bit of training yesterday on how to make coffees.
“It’s been pretty fast bringing it all together, but as we go forward we’ll give them all a bit more training,” says Ms Day.
Their next trial is expected to happen within the next two weeks.
But for now, the future possibility are endless, with catering already in the woodworks.
“We’ll also be doing catering, anything from afternoon teas to luncheons.
“We’ve got a trade training day where the Airforce are coming out and setting up here and we’re going to be catering for that.
“”Whatever money we make will go straight back into the cafe and we’ll just continue to expand this program,” says Mr Matthews.
For now, the school can feel confident in the fact that their kids are learning hospitality and business skills that will stick with them well after schools finished.