The Gift of Experience
written by Susan Griffis, Associate Vice President of Marketing, Shepherds College
Russian nesting dolls are fascinating gifts. The main doll is beautifully carved and painted and, in itself, is a wonderful surprise. But then you open the doll to find another, similar to the first in its beauty, but with intricate and important differences. As you open the doll you’ll continue to find another… and another… and another… each unique and each an essential part of the whole gift.
In 2018, Community State Bank gave Shepherds College a gift much like this. They gave the school a café for the Culinary Arts students to run - Shepherds Community Café.
One of the first things people do after receiving a Russian nesting doll is to remove each doll, put the halves back together, and line them up next to each other to examine the gift in its entirety. After receiving the gift of Shepherds Community Cafe, the staff at Shepherds College did the same. The second gift was easily revealed:
The Gift of Experience
Shepherds Community Café is staffed by the second- and third-year students and alumni of Shepherds College. These baristas all have intellectual or developmental disabilities so they are supervised by a café manager, one who is experienced in the disability field.
Running the café and serving the customers gives these students valuable, real-life business experience. As they grow in knowledge, the students are gaining confidence in their skills and in their personal interactions.
The students each learn specialized skills in their Culinary Arts program at Shepherds College. They also learn soft skills, such as professional behaviors, dressing for success and conflict resolution. These soft skills are tested and enhanced through working as baristas at the café.
Later this year, the café will offer baked goods made by the Culinary Arts students. The students will be baking cookies, muffins, bars and other delicious treats in the newly licensed production kitchen at Shepherds College. Producing these baked goods to sell in the café will add another level of experience toward their careers in Culinary Arts.
Thanks to the gift of Shepherds Community Café, the Shepherds College Culinary Arts students are building impressive resumes to assist them on the path toward fulfilling their dreams of independence.
Read about the other generous gifts in upcoming blogs.
Community State Bank and Shepherds Community Café invite our friends and neighbors to a Community Open House at 1500 Main Street, Union Grove, WI on Saturday, August 11th, 2018 from 9 AM until noon.
The open house will feature tours of Community State Bank’s newly renovated office and Shepherds Community Café. The café will also be providing free beverage samples and bakery while supplies last.
“We’re so excited to show our newly renovated office to the community,” said CSB President and CEO, Scott Huedepohl. “The design reflects everything a community bank stands for...strong communities and building quality relationships.”
Some of the additional features that the office includes are a new drive-thru, employee collaboration areas, an outdoor patio space and two community rooms that are free for local organizations and businesses to use upon request.
“This design is different than a traditional community bank,” said Huedepohl. “We encourage our neighbors to stop in for our community event and check out everything our new office and café have to offer.”
Community Open House & Grand Opening
Saturday, August 11th, 2018 | 9AM - 12PM
Community State Bank
1500 Main Street
Union Grove, WI 53182
Imagine that a cup of coffee could support a local college and provide work experience for students with intellectual disabilities. Now imagine that a café embracing this vision was coming to a community bank in Union Grove, Wisconsin. It’s a vision that Community State Bank (CSB) President and CEO, Scott Huedepohl presented to Shepherds College in 2017 and now it’s becoming the reality known as Shepherds Community Café.
“As a community bank, this is what we’re about every day,” said Huedepohl. “We build the communities that we serve. So when this idea originally crossed my mind, I didn’t even hesitate. I knew this was something that our bank, Shepherds College and our communities could really get behind and support.”
Shepherds College, also located in Union Grove, provides a three year post-secondary education program for students from all over the world with intellectual disabilities. One of the three programs that Shepherds College provides for their students is a culinary arts program.
“The café will provide our culinary students with significant experience within the context of a true business setting,” said Shepherds College Executive Director, Tracy Terrill. “This will enhance the overall culinary training program and introduce more people to the work and mission of Shepherds College.”
The café will be staffed by Shepherds College students and all proceeds will directly benefit the college. The college’s culinary staff is currently working with Stone Creek Coffee in Milwaukee to develop a business and training plan for the students as well as a beverage menu for the upcoming café.
“Stone Creek Coffee was founded with the principle that we have a social obligation to the communities around us,” said Stone Creek Director of Partnerships, Marshall Welch. “The Shepherds Community Café project is a great embodiment of our social obligation and we couldn’t have been more excited for the opportunity to use our love for coffee as a conduit to create social and educational outlets for the students at Shepherds College.”
Shepherds Community Café will be located inside of Community State Bank’s Main Office at 1500 Main Street in Union Grove. The café, in addition to the entire bank, is currently in the process of being renovated and is set to host a grand opening this spring.
Among the many new additions to the bank office, CSB also designed two community rooms that will be directly connected to the café. The rooms were created to provide local businesses and service organizations with a space to network, meet and team build free of charge. Both rooms will be available by reservation and will have access to café services.
“Shepherds Community Café is going to be huge for our community and the surrounding communities in Southeastern Wisconsin,” said Huedepohl. “This is an opportunity to make our morning coffee routine into a movement that will make a difference in the lives of these students forever.”
Any media related questions or requests can be directed to Community State Bank’s Communication Coordinator, Ellie Heigl: firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 878-3763.