Blender Cafe staff members Brett Kiger, Cullen Schooff, Manager Debbie Haun and Jasmine Escobedo post for a photograph at the Beloit Public Library. The staff of all senior students from Beloit Memorial High School will look to train the next generation of cafe workers next year. Photo credit: Austin Montgomery – Beloit Daily News
BELOIT – Walk into the Beloit Public Library and you’re greeted by the smell of freshly ground coffee and baked bread.
Turn right, and you’ll hit the Blender Cafe, the Stateline Area’s only library restaurant with a twist: it’s run by students. One year in and the library’s gamble on opening a student-operated cafe is already paying off for Beloit Memorial High School students eying future hospitality careers.
The effort started after nearly $270,000 was privately raised by library support groups and local business partners to convert a portion of the library’s first floor into a cafe offering up affordable and tasty breakfast, lunch and drink options.
For Beloit Memorial High School seniors Jasmine Escobedo and Cullen Schoof, the last year at the Blender has meant learning the ins and outs of the restaurant industry.