By Renee Larr
Last year, the Carmel High School DECA Club launched the Carmel Café & Market on campus to give students interested in business a real-world learning experience.
They’re getting a great education in success, as the market has already reached more than $50,000 in sales since the beginning of the school year. Last school year it only made $30,000 in sales total.
CHS junior and DECA chief marketing officer Jessica Deady said the dramatic increase can be attributed to word-of-mouth marketing.
“I think the cafe has definitely gained a lot more awareness in the school,” she said. “People will be walking through the halls with their frappucinos and lattes, and people will ask where they got them. Now people know we’re there. We have customers come in every single day. We just have this great target market.”
The café and market sells coffee products, teas, Italian sodas and CHS apparel.
“A couple of our (DECA) members thought it was a great idea. It would be a great way to get our kids experienced in the business field,” Deady said. “We think Starbucks is huge with high school kids, so we thought we could do it here, too.”
The market employees a chief operations officer, two general managers, 38 managers and about 180 employees who work the register. Sales are re-invested into the cafe and used to send students to DECA competitions. There has even been interest from other schools to observe the development of the cafe so they can open their own.
The group hopes that sales will stay strong throughout the school year.
“We went in (with a goal of) $75,000 for the year in mind, but we’re looking at trying to hit $100,000 now,” Deady said. “It’s indefinite.”