The Thunderbrew hopes to recover from a missed year of business

Emmalie Herd, Features Editor

Business students start up the Thunderbrew every morning with a group of customers waiting for the door to open. Eager students scribble their orders on a slip and hand it to the Thunderbrew workers. A refrigerator opens and ice crunches as the workers swiftly begin preparing their orders. However, behind the smoothies and coffee, other things are happening behind the scenes.

“In the past, people said that they haven’t really noticed that it’s been open, but I assume this from COVID,” freshman Justice DeWitt said. “And now that it’s open and running again, a lot of people come up to me and I have regular customers.”

According to sophomore Amy Oltman, one of the hardest parts of working at the Thunderbrew is how busy it can become.

“We have lots of orders coming in every day and keeping up with inventory along with orders in general becomes tough when you’re in a rush,” Oltman said.

Despite sometimes being in a rush, senior Damien Rodriguez sees benefits with working at the Thunderbrew.

“It gets you experience in the work field and you make profit off of it for yourself to use for different activities in the business department,” Rodriguez said.

According to FBLA sponsor Pat Hinkle, although the Thunderbrew is busy, profits are about half of what they used to be; she said she believes this is particularly due to raised prices.

“When school started this year, half gallon of milk was, what, 80 cents?” Hinkle said. “It’s now $1. So we had, in a month and a half, the price of milk has gone up 21 cents.”

Because of raised prices, according to DeWitt, receiving the necessary ingredients can be more difficult.

“She can’t always get all the ingredients we need for some of the smoothies or hot chocolates or flavors and stuff like that,” DeWitt said.

According to Hinkle, the Thunderbrew is also trying to keep everything affordable for students while trying to recover from the year out of business.

“We have been watching prices and profit margins as well as other things to try and make the most funds possible after being gone a year,” Oltman said.

According to Rodriguez, to help combat this, they are opening up the Thunderbrew to the business department all day long. 

“I mean, it’s so far, so good, we’re busy,” Hinkle said. “But at the same time, we’re not going to be back to where we were. I don’t know if we’ll ever reach that status again.”