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Bulldog Brew crew learns highs, lows of business

Waukegan  Thursday  3/7/13     Seventeen-year-old Stephanie Zuritworks 'Bulldog Brew' coffee cafe Waukegan High School Thursday

Waukegan Thursday, 3/7/13 Seventeen-year-old, Stephanie Zurita works the "Bulldog Brew" coffee cafe at Waukegan High School Thursday morning. Students from the school's business administration are selling breakfast items each morning from 7:45 to 8:

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Updated: June 13, 2013 9:09PM



WAUKEGAN — Starbucks’ path to 20,000 stores in 62 countries began with a single storefront in 1971. If history has anything to say about Bulldog Brew, it will record that the student-run business started with a single cart in 2013.

Participants in Dina Kessler’s business administration class, 28 students in all, started the hot-beverage enterprise earlier this year at the Washington Campus. They roll out a cart three mornings a week from 7:30 to 8:10, offering not only coffee but hot chocolate and snacks that include granola and Pop-Tarts.

The first step, said Kessler, was to raise start-up funds, which was done in part through DonorsChoose.org, which helps fulfill requests from teachers nationwide.

She said the effort raised $700 in one month, including a $300 donation from one Waukegan public schools graduate.

To date, that investment has generated a return of $1,000, one dollar at a time. Kessler said that by putting students in charge of the operation, they’re learning the highs and lows of running a business, including planning, staffing, money management, purchasing, inventory, marketing and advertising.

“This is hands-on,” she said. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, I want to start my own business,’ but our students are learning how hard it is.”

Student Jesus Chavez said in a statement released by the school that “without teamwork, Bulldog Brew would have been unsuccessful in generating any profits. I have found that being part of Bulldog Brew is a great experience that will help me to get used to working with other individuals and how to adjust to challenges faced like in a real-world working environment.”

According to Kessler, the students plan to use the profits for a pizza party, and funds beyond that will be donated to a charity to be determined, most likely one centering on cancer research.



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