The Bluebird Brew Cafe: an opportunity for success and experience


Evelyn Hopping

Seniors Honor Valentine and Savannah King stand in the Bluebird Cafe, preparing to begin working.

     The smell of coffee wavers through the air as the boisterous students gossip at their lunch tables. 

     Everyone likes a good coffee throughout the day, but at Highlands High School the students don’t have to wait until the end of the school day to get one. 

     Here at Highlands, we have a student-run business called the Bluebird Cafe. The students can open, close, and run the cafe with minimal assistance from staff. 

     The Bluebird Cafe has been around for 4 years. This business was started as a collaboration with the business department to create an inclusive learning target for all students. 

     “The vision was to have our students working together learning various job, social, and independent living skills. In addition, we hoped to provide a service to students and staff that would showcase the skills of the students with all different abilities.” Mrs. Hoffstedder comments as a teacher and supervisor of the cafe. 

     The Bluebird Cafe allows students to order drinks to their classroom throughout the school day. The cafe is operated and managed by the Special Ed Department. 

     Senior Cafe Worker Savannah King commented on her favorite part of this business.

     “My favorite part would definitely be the business opportunity. We get to see how all the sales are made.”  

     The cafe has more than just coffee. They also have lemonade, tea, frappuccinos, lattes, protein shakes, and hot chocolate. 

     Students can order drinks through the Bluebird Brew Cafe app on their phones. Drinks cost anywhere from $1.50 to $5. You can order anytime between 9 A.M. and 2 P.M. 

     To order your drink, go to the Bluebird Cafe app on your phone, select the drink you want, fill out the information, and then purchase your drink. 

     After placing an order, the students working in the cafe will make the drink that’s been ordered and deliver it to the classroom selected. 

     Special Education Teacher Shelly Hoffstedder is very excited about the Bluebird Cafe doing so well. 

     “The BBC has been an amazing success!”