Saxbys in Speakman Hall hosts guest baristas, pay-as-you-wish event

The guest baristas included successful Fox alumni, professors and university administration.

Temple students wait for their coffee at the new Saxbys in Speakman Hall on Tuesday during Saxbys pay-as-you-wish grand opening event. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Students, faculty and staff attended a pay-as-you-wish event with guest baristas at Saxbys in Speakman Hall on Tuesday, for the new student-run coffee shop’s official opening.

Senior tourism and hospitality management major Julia Maass, who is the shops cafe executive officer at Saxbys, and her team of student workers made food and drinks for customers and university guests.

To celebrate the shop’s opening, several guest baristas like management information systems 2013 alumnus and current CEO of online renting site WhoseYourLandlord Ofo Ezeugwu, men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy, Philadelphia City Councilman Allan Domb, President Richard Englert, higher education professor Sara Goldrick-Rab and 2012 public communication alumnus and state House of Representatives candidate for the 181st District Malcolm Kenyatta helped serve customers.

“I think this place is amazing,” Ezeugwu said. “If this was here when I was here, I would have tried to get involved in some way. My favorite thing at Temple was its organizations.

“If this is the only chance these students ever have at running their own business,” he added. “I’m glad they’re taking it seriously.”

Junior kinesiology major Bridget Staniszewski stopped by Saxbys for a cup of coffee after her friend told her about the event.

“I just came in for good coffee at a good price,” she said. “I didn’t know this whole place was run by students. I mean, I’m assuming corporate still has involvement in it, but that’s pretty cool.”

All menu items were “pay-as-you-wish,” but students were encouraged to spend a little extra since all proceeds from the grand opening event would go toward a special scholarship fund.

“I’m really happy that students are taking advantage of the pay-as-you-can,” Maas said. “It’s Temple students supporting students.”

President Richard Englert gave a special address thanking members of the Board of Trustees and Saxbys corporate offices. He praised Maass and her team for the hard work that was “just beginning.”

“This is one of the greatest things happening on this campus this year,” he added.

Junior strategic communications major Kennedy Freeman said she came to the grand opening for the “cheap coffee” but loved the new location. The fact that it’s student-operated makes it even more appealing, she said.

“I didn’t know that at first,” she said. “But now that I do, I’ll probably be coming here a lot more often. That’s pretty awesome.”

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