Thunder Brew proves successful after first few weeks open


A student waits outside of FBLA’s coffee shop, Thunder Brew.

Megan Norman, Reporter

Bellevue West’s new coffee shop, Thunder Brew, opened Dec. 17 and has been a success ever since. The idea of an in-school coffee shop was established by CEOs senior Clara Larson and sophomores Leah Larson and Baden Brumbaugh for their American Enterprise Project for Future Business Leaders of America.

Within the first week of opening, the student-run coffee shop paid off every penny that it took to open and gained a profit from it.

Opening for finals week we made a thousand dollars and we completely ran out of all of our flavors just within that first week,” junior Molly Storm said. “So I would definitely say it’s a success.”

Thunder Brew now offers discounted flavors of the week and a punch card system.

What the creators like most about the project is seeing the former FBLA closet transformed into such a successful, bustling coffee shop.

“I think the transformation was actually quite amazing,” Brumbaugh said. “Being able to help run and sell stuff in it is pretty amazing and next year I’ll probably still be running it.”

Despite its success, Thunder Brew has received some negative feedback.

“The punch card system could be a little more efficient,” frequent customer sophomore Wesley Reed said. “It goes in a big bag and you have to search through.”

Thunder Brew’s CEOs try to take the negative feedback and use it for improvement in the future.

“If you say something’s wrong I want to at least have it be backed up by something that we can improve or work on,” Brumbaugh said. “Someone might come up to me and say ‘Hey my drink was too weak,’. Okay, we’ll change how much syrup we’ll put in.”

A lot goes on behind the scenes when it comes to the production of the cafe. Leah, Clara and Brumbaugh get to school around 7 a.m. and work as a team in order to set up for the busy days.

“I’m constantly someone who’s there like every morning,” Brumbaugh said. “I come in because I don’t have a study hall. Then on the FBLA side of it we’re a group of three people. We’re doing this for our American Enterprise Project, so we’re writing a 15 page report over it and then we’re going to present it at the state level and hope to make nationals.”

Clara hopes to keep the coffee shop going by keeping customers excited about new things and deals in order to keep sales up.

“We are still making money each day and hopefully we’ll be able to put it back towards the school and do something good with it,” Clara said.