Brewing Success

West High junior opens a coffee shop at the Waterloo Career Center.
Junior Bailey Kestel and Savvy Bean owner Savannah Warren at the Savvy Bean cart in the Waterloo Career Center after the grand opening on January 22.
Junior Bailey Kestel and Savvy Bean owner Savannah Warren at the Savvy Bean cart in the Waterloo Career Center after the grand opening on January 22.
Ali Parkhurst

After nearly five months of preparation and hard work from junior Bailey Kestel, a coffee cart partnered with Savvy Bean has opened in the Waterloo Career Center. 

In September, Kestel shared the idea of opening a coffee shop with her marketing teacher, Jill Schares, who encouraged her to pursue the project. The idea came from a longtime dream of Kestel’s, “My life goal is to open up a coffee shop, so this is taking a step towards that,” she shares.

Bailey Kestel watches as Savannah Warren creates an espresso shot for a latte.

Outside of her classes at the WCC, Kestel partnered with Savvy Bean, a small coffee shop in Waterloo. The owner of the shop, Savannah Warren, is a senior at UNI studying business and entrepreneurship. 

Kestel shares that Warren has been the biggest supporter during her project with assisting in health codes, training and entrepreneurship. 

As Kestel began her journey in Schares’ marketing class, Schares explains that her class helped prepare Kestel for this business. “Bailey has learned about setting up a business, all the details that need attention prior to opening, deadlines, finance, supply chain,” Schares says.

Schares adds that she was able to watch Kestel’s dream come alive from the beginning in her class all the way up to the grand opening, “It is very exciting to watch a student grow and learn. It is amazing to see a dream being talked about in class become reality!” She shares that Kestel’s idea was able to grow and become a reality through resources Schares had access to, “I knew that we had access to a coffee maker and the ability to sell items in the School Store. There also was the original store cart not being used.”

Senior Micah Schwickerath is Savvy Beans first customer on the day of the grand opening after he helped bring the cart to life.

Leading up to the opening, many different classes at the WCC participated in the production of the business. The construction class built the cart based on a drawing Kestel had done in her marketing class. Kestel notes the help she received from her classmates Micah Schwickerath, Tayvon Homolar and Cael Caughron as they joined in on painting the cart before the grand opening. 

Schares notes that other classes who played a part in the creation of the cart and getting the coffee shop running included Matt McCully and his construction class, Joseph Boyle and his electrical class, Greg Reint and the plumbing class, Robber Plage with the advanced manufacturing class, Tracy Hulmr and her culinary class as well as Mark Aalderks who leads the business and entrepreneurship classes.

Outside of the WCC, Kestel received support from many community members. As her partnership with the Savvy Bean has played a large part in creating the coffee shop, Kestel shares that Warren has been the biggest supporter during her project with assisting in health codes, training and entrepreneurship. 

In addition to the support from the Savvy Bean, Schares and Kestel received support from the WCC and the Waterloo Schools foundation. Getting permission from Amy Miehe, the Director of the WCC, allowed for Kestel and Schares to go further with the idea. On top of this, Hannah Luce with the Waterloo Schools Foundation provided the project with the funding it needed to get going.

Kestel shares that as her project has developed, she has received unconditional support from her family, friends and classmates. “It’s really exciting to see other people get excited about it,” she says. 

Superintendent Jared Smith orders a coffee from Bailey Kestel and the Savvy Bean during the grand opening (Ali Parkhurst )

The biggest goal Kestel had when opening the shop was to increase the scholarship fund the WCC provides seniors at the end of the year,  “Profits go to the grant that goes back to students, it’s exciting to see that.” With 50% of the carts profits going to the WCC, Kestel’s project is making an impact on the seniors in her community. 

In agreement with Kestel’s hopes, Schares adds that she also wishes to see growth within the shop, “I hope to see the cart have profitable success and grow in products offered.”

In the last five months, the hardest challenge for Kestel was time management. As a student, a manager at Chick-Fil-A and training at the Savvy Bean, it was hard for Kestel to balance school and work at the same time. With the storms in the beginning of January, Kestel shares that the timeline for opening the cart was pushed back due to school being canceled. She shares that her parents were the biggest support with all the work she was taking on and that she was able to work with her teachers to adapt to the demanding schedule. 

In exchange for the busy work, Kestel shares that the most rewarding part of this project was seeing it all come together for the grand opening,  “My parents were here which was really sweet to see them enjoy it. They’ve been asking questions and have been really involved but haven’t been able to come to the school and witness what has been happening.” She shares that the project has been ‘kept in the corner’ and to be able to announce that it was open and present showed that the hard work had paid off. 

As the school year progresses, Kestel hopes that the cart is a success with the WCC students and grows the grant fund that will be given back to graduating students. As she heads into her senior year, Kestel plans to turn the cart over to another student to allow for the experience with business and entrepreneurship to continue.

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About the Contributor
Ali Parkhurst
Ali Parkhurst, News and Sports Editor; Yearbook Editor-In-Chief
(she/her) Ali Parkhurst is a senior at West High. This is her second year as a Wahawk Insider staff member, Parkhurst is also the Editor-In-Chief for the Wahawk Yearbook. Outside of school, Parkhurst is a varsity cheerleader and a server at Doughy Joeys. Parkhurst enjoys photography, running, and spending time with her friends.
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    Arnae HannanJan 30, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    bailey is so amazing, so cool to see someone work hard to follow their dreams