By Nathaniel Fryer
Highland Java was founded by Alma students in 2006, and its purpose was to serve the Alma College community as a student run coffee shop, which had not previously existed.
Since then, Highland Java has grown and changed into a representation of Alma students in Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA) working together to serve other students.
The most recent of these changes occurred in the summer of 2017, when Highland Java was renovated, had new appliances installed and built a new bar. Students who are apart of EIA are required to work two hours a week, which gives them the opportunity to connect with the campus community.
Recently, EIA’s business showcase group made a few connections within the city of Alma, one of which was Carolyn’s Cakes, a shop in downtown Alma. It took a while to build the partnership with the shop, but now every Tuesday since the beginning of this semester, Highland Java has had a number of cakes for customers to purchase.
“Initially [last semester] there wasn’t much excitement from the campus community about the cakes, but now that the cakes have been here for a while, people get excited,” said Justin Jones (‘19), a member of EIA.
“The sales for the cakes has picked up, and that’s been really cool to see, after the semester of implementing it,” he added.
Highland Java will also be adding another new menu option: iced coffees. This raised the issue of installing an ice machine into the library.
“I’m a big fan of the drink myself,”said Emma Herron (’18) the President of Highland Java.
“Whenever we considered the idea, we ran into difficulties with the source of the ice. Most ice machines need a separate water line that connects into the machine. With our location in the library, that kind of construction just isn’t feasible.”
Herron said that earlier in the year the Highland Java management team made their goal getting iced coffee to Java. They’ve found a machine that can make ice but doesn’t need a water line and can be sorted in the machine.
Highland Java CEO, Dylan Bergmann (’19) said, “Our current general manager worked at a coffee shop at his high school, and they had an iced coffee machine there. We modeled our proposed ice coffee idea after theirs, ran product tests, and moved forward with getting iced coffee for Java.
According to Bergmann iced coffe drinks will be brought into effect within the few weeks.
Students who have heard the rumors are excited.
“Oh, I love iced coffee. When Highland Java gets it, I’ll be happy to go there rather than walk all the way to Starbucks,” said Rachel Whipple (’20).
Carolyn’s Cakes will be sold at Highland Java for the remainder of the semester every Tuesday.