As a class project, Burnsville High School students Bailey Kump and Emma Toomire worked with a local coffee shop to devise a unique mocha beverage and are now marketing their product at JoJo’s Rise & Wine. The drink will be available through Dec. 30 and every purchase will result in a $1 donation to #burnsvillestrong.
That’s real-world learning for these and other students at Burnsville High School.
Meggan Malone, a business education teacher, focuses on providing experiences like this for students.
She has linked her students with restaurant Burger Jones for several years with her students creating and marketing specialized burgers, and this fall a portion of the profits of their “Blaze Burger” benefited Tackle Cancer. This year students are also working with Mozza Mia, Aspire Beverages, Junior’s Sports Cafe and Venue 13. All of the students have met with the company owners or executives and visited their headquarters.
“The most effective way for students to internalize the concepts they learn in class is to apply it in a real-life setting where they experience actual results,” said Malone, who is also the school’s advisor for DECA, a school club that prepares students to be college and career ready. “Students can learn information from a textbook, but by working with a local company, they will remember the lessons forever.”
Bailey and Emma wanted to connect with a coffee shop because they love coffee and they know that coffee shops are popular places for their peers to hang out.
They selected JoJo’s Rise & Wine because it’s a favorite of theirs and it’s a local business. Owner Mary Jo Stevens, parent to three Burnsville High School grads, was receptive so Bailey and Emma began meeting with her in August.
They helped develop a signature mocha drink called “DECA the Halls” that features peppermint and white chocolate with candy cane sprinkled on top. It is delicious, with or without coffee, said Emma. “Sweet with a wintery flavor, but not overpowering,” is how Bailey describes it.
The drink will be sold until Dec. 30 at JoJo’s, 12501 Nicollet Avenue, in Burnsville’s Heart of the City. For every DECA the Halls mocha sold, $1 will be donated to #burnsvillestrong, a community initiative to support the well-being of children and youth. The goal is to raise $200.
Bailey and Emma have developed an advertising campaign and are promoting the signature drink through radio stations, TV stations, local newspapers, social media and colorful posters in strategic locations. They hope to enlist Sparky, the school’s mascot, to wave at the curb and entice customers to try the beverage.
Both juniors serve as DECA officers and are students in Malone’s advanced marketing class. They will be submitting their advertising campaign for JoJo’s Rise & Wine to the DECA district competition in January. Bailey’s future plans include earning a college major in marketing and working for a major retail company. Emma intends to earn a nursing degree and someday start a medical sales company.
“Mary Jo has been extremely helpful and flexible with the students,” said Malone. “They communicate with her through email and go to JoJo’s for meetings.”
Malone thanks businesses for providing real-world learning opportunities for her students. Any business interested in forming partnerships, can contact her at (952) 707-2100.