Formerly Known as the Hot Shot Cafe, Roast Runners Cafe Sees Even More Changes This Term

Samantha Schmidt (left) is one of several employees serving drinks at the Roast Runners Cafe. (Photo by Jakob Jones)

For some, drinking coffee is a vital part of life. For others, vitality might be found in tea or hot chocolate. Basically, you really can’t go wrong with a warm beverage. And what’s better to go with a warm beverage than a warm and inviting atmosphere?

That’s exactly what the college was trying to convey when it opened Roast Runners last October. Roast Runners is a student/staff-run coffee shop right here on campus, located in the student union.

After some leadership changes and a grant from the school, plans were put into effect to resurrect the forgotten Hot Shot Cafe (originally run by the Student Leadership Council) and create a new welcoming setting for students to come, relax, and enjoy their time here on LBCC’s campus.

Along with business faculty member Mindy Bean, who supervises the operation, are LB staffers Sarah Whiteside, Nancie Meyer, and Kaylan Beaulieu-McCann. The cafe has three managers and 12 baristas working alongside the supervisors, all of whom are either involved with the business team co-curricular, or doing a work study.

Positive changes came in with the new management, such as switching coffee suppliers to Sisters Coffee Co., who came in and gave the baristas some lessons on not only preparing coffee, but perfecting it. There were latte art classes provided to ensure the highest quality of service, as well as new equipment, including a grinder and an espresso machine.

“The new coffee grinder was essential. Our last one we had to, well, jerry-rig it. And some people are so particular about their coffee, if the grind is off by even an inch, they’ll be able to tell,” Bean said. “The new equipment and knowledge brings a sense of consistency with our coffee.”

New plans for Roast Runners include longer hours and a TV that would be used for the advertisement of student opportunities, with the possibility of a show or movie or two being streamed throughout the day.

With hopes to connect with other clubs to use the space, the student marketing team is planning on organizing events, such as dead week in the spring. Bean hopes to emulate The Union, creating a place that both students and faculty enjoy being in, and to create an atmosphere as warm and homey as any other coffee shop out there.

If you are interested in getting involved with Roast Runners in any way, or have questions regarding its operation, Bean would love to hear from you!

Story by Sabrina Parsons

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