Centennial’s Entrepreneurship and Advanced Culinary Arts classes started the Charger Cafė this semester so they could create a business and see how it was run. It allowed the students to serve the teachers and administration breakfast, which usually included iced mochas and egg casserole. Connie Brillhart, who teaches Entrepreneurship and Caitlin O’Grady, who teaches Culinary Arts, came together to create the café and modeled it after one that they saw at Schaumburg High School. It started shortly after the semester began and will continue in 2013 with the Marketing class replacing Entrepreneurship.
Although only students in those classes can participate, it is something that has gotten the staff very excited. “The teachers and staff have been so supportive of the café,” Brillhart said. “Many of the comments from teachers are, ‘I get to have breakfast with people who work in the building that I would never see otherwise’ and ‘I look forward to Friday mornings’.” As for the future, teachers hope to continue it next school year, although they will “have to keep the café ‘invitation only’ due to the health department restrictions,” said O’Grady. The only way this could change is if the kitchens could be improved, so until then, it is only open to invited teachers and staff.
There are plans to improve on their menu and customer service in the future. They currently have a delivery service to teachers in their classrooms, but they want to expand. There has also been talk of Central creating a similar model between their business and cooking classes.