Library’s cafe project slated to open in spring

Print Article

Photo provided (From left): BMHS hospitality program students Sarai Servin and Ryan Dahl pose for a photo. The Beloit Public Library’s Blender Cafe is expected to be staffed by 15 BMHS students.

BELOIT — Groups involved with the Beloit Public Library’s Blender Cafe project expect the plan to move forward soon, with an opening slated for the spring.

Bids for construction of the cafe will be opened Thursday, and a contracting firm will be selected at the Beloit City Council’s Jan. 17 meeting, according to library marketing coordinator Andrea Levine.

After a bid is accepted, construction is expected to start at the end of February, with a tentative grand opening date set for April.

“We are finally getting to a point where we are going to get students trained and construction started,” said Tony Cappoziello, School District of Beloit Apprenticeship liaison for Blackhawk Technical College.

Construction on the project is estimated to cost about $200,000 and was made possible through a partnership between the city, library, Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) and Kerry Ingredients. The city contributed $100,000 for the construction, but no reoccurring funds will be designated for the project, according to Beloit Public Library Director Nick Dimassis.

“This is a public-private partnership at its best, and the beneficiaries are the 17-and 18-year-old chefs, hotel managers and restaurant owners of tomorrow,” Place Economics consultant Donovan Rypkema said.

Funds for the project were matched by the library through fundraising efforts and individual contributions, Levine said. Last month, the Beloit Rotary Club donated $10,000 to the plan. The Friends at the Beloit Library group also donated $10,000 for the cafe project, on top of the group’s planned total donation of around $20,000, said FABL President Mim Warren.

The cafe was designed to support job and career training for BMHS students, offering on-the-job training. Aside from a cafe manager, the project will be staffed by 15 students from the high school’s hospitality program. The partnership also could lead to business students getting involved on the marketing side of the cafe, Cappozziello said.

Twenty-five students will be screened for the 15 positions, and each student will be selected on an individual basis to work around athletic and academic schedules. All students will be hired as library employees, with all positions being paid.

The manager’s position could be filled by past students with proper experience. Depending on the hiring process, BMHS graduates from last year could fill some of the 15 spots, Cappoziello said.

“We still need to figure out the sales system for the cafe, and what the city expects in terms of record keeping as well,” he added.

Kerry Ingredients will provide further career training, Levine said. Kerry will also provide materials, products and food science tutorials to students.

Although students will be paid, the cafe must be self-sustainable, Dimassis said. All wages will be paid through profits made by the cafe, he added.

Graduates of the “Blender Program” will also be eligible for college scholarships to culinary arts programs, according to cafe project documents.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Report: City under-staffed for fire shifts

October 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm | BELOIT - The city firefighters' union - locked in contract negotiations with City Hall and facing the loss of three full-time positions - has delivered a report suggesting staff cuts would make Beloi...

Comments

Read More

Corn harvest brings average yields

October 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm | After a late and wet planting the corn crop is about average with the harvest in full swing this week. Thanks to warm weather this week and a late frost, the corn crop was able to reach full maturit...

Comments

Read More

Jakubowski's Rock County trial pushed back

October 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm | JANESVILLE - A Janesville man who confessed in federal court to stealing multiple firearms from a gun store and sending an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump had his local burglary t...

Comments

Read More

Turner students tip their hats to Houston school hit by hurricane

October 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm | TOWN OF BELOIT - Students at Beloit Turner Middle School wore hats last week as a fundraiser to help hurricane damaged Houston and a school where a Turner teacher was formerly employed. The Hats fo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2017 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X