For six years, a group of NSSA’s Adult Clients have been running a morning coffee shop called NSSA Cafe at the Martin C. Barell School. This has been a welcome perk to teachers and staff.
As soon as the young adults arrive they get busy preparing for customers, setting up their work station in the gym, setting out milk, sugar, cups and stirrers and putting money in the cash register for making change. Michelle goes around the building with clipboard and order form, taking teacher and staff orders. Once she’s taken someone’s order, she knows it forever. She can even recommend new coffee flavors if a customer’s favorite is out of stock.
While Michelle is out taking orders, the others start filling requests from customers who go to the coffee shop themselves. Katherine takes orders at the register and makes accurate change every time. Alex makes the coffee and keeps the milk and sugar containers filled and neat. Once drinks have been made, Jessica takes one cup at a time to its awaiting recipient.
Plenty goes on behind the scenes as well. In addition to running the coffee shop itself, the adults are also responsible for keeping track of inventory and purchasing supplies and cleaning their coffee station and equipment. All the coffee shop related tasks are aligned with their goals of socialization, money management, sorting and inventory and following directions on purchasing supplies and staying on task.
Diana Mazzeo, NSSA’s Finance Coordinator and longtime coffee shop customer, says “it’s a wonderful thing to have the coffee shop here at the school to enjoy a cup of coffee with a smile.”
We all like the NSSA Coffee Shop a latte.