Blue Brew is an Entrepreneurial Student Run Venture Course for the Tabor School of Business at Millikin University. Blue Brew operates the coffee shop located in the Hickory Point Bank Building in downtown Decatur, Illinois, just minutes from the Millikin campus.
The course is conducted in the Fall and Spring Semesters at Millikin University. During the semester, students run all aspects of the shop regarding finance, operations, and marketing. Students are also required to work in the coffee shop a set number of hours outside of class time. Outside of Spring and Fall semesters, the shop is run by students fulfilling internship requirements for the Tabor School of Business.
Loren Agee, a student who participated in the Spring 2019 class was a part of the finance committee for Blue Brew. “As a part of the finance committee we were able to develop a semester budget, as well as track actual spending and draw conclusions from that data. The course provides excellent hands-on experience on how the things we learn in the classroom pertain to real life in a business setting.” Agee states.
The Spring 2019 class was able to institute a new idea during their time at Blue Brew that was successful for the business. The class prepared a fundraiser for a local non-profit organization. At the end of the day, the organization would receive 20% of the sales made. The students decided to pursue this idea not only to get new faces in the store but to also help an organization that does a lot for the Decatur area. After reaching out to several organizations in the area, Blue Brew’s “Student Owner’s” decided to host the fundraiser for PawPrint Ministries of Decatur, a comfort dog ministry based in Central Illinois.
The results of the fundraiser were successful for both Blue Brew and PawPrint Ministries. Throughout the day Blue Brew and PawPrint Ministries used their social media accounts to let customers know that there was comfort dogs present in the store for hour long shifts. Local customers were able to come in and hang out with their favorite comfort pup and enjoy a drink that would help support their ministry. At the end of the day Blue Brew helped PawPrint Ministries raise $445.40 for their organization!
Blue Brew employees presenting a fundraising check to PawPrint Ministries. 4.25.19
Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/pawprintministries/photos
The course gives students great experience on how to run a business from the inside out. This course can be challenging but also very rewarding as it teaches students valuable skills that can only be gained from hands-on experience. Student Loren Agee states, “Blue Brew really helped me develop my leadership skills further. I could not have gained the knowledge and experiences that I got from Blue Brew from a classroom”.
The Spring 2019 Class members and their majors are as follows: Loren Agee (Entrepreneurship), Taylor Isaia (Digital Media Marketing), Lauren Jones (Vocal Performance & Entrepreneurship Certificate), Mari Couri (Marketing), Courtney Brady (Digital Media Marketing), Reese Crawford (Entrepreneurship & Digital Media Marketing), George Jimmerson Jr. (Sports Management & Entrepreneurship), and Alexzander Clark (Business Management).
Faculty Advisors: Julienne Wheat-Shields (Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship), Ray Fields (Associate Professor).
Contributors for this blog include: Anny Itonde, Loren Agee and Tracey Preston .