SA-KRED Cafe – Coffee and Donuts for a Cause
Submitted and written by SA-KRED staff Mia Shifrin ’19, Maddie Williams ’19, and Will Maloney ’18
Working at Gould’s SA-KRED cafe is learning by doing. When the donuts are placed on the counter and the first cup of coffee is dripping in the single pour station made by CMO (Chief Maker Officer) Will Maloney ’18, it is game on. Students working the counter transform into donut hustlers, coffee makers, and crowd controllers. The learning is “unlike what is found inside a classroom” says one CEO, Maddie Williams ’19. “Students are asked to manage the cafe’s budget, products, schedule, employees and working hours. The students have to motivate themselves to put in the work and are working directly with tangible ideas. The sense of responsibility and productivity is unlike any test.”
Mia Shifrin ’19, CEO and founder of SA-KRED, prefers to work behind the scenes getting the coffee and donuts to the cafe before it opens and building external partnerships. Through her social entrepreneurship lens, Mia sees “It’s smart to promote local to help globally.” She’s secured an arrangement with Carrabassett Coffee Company from Kingfield, Maine and Sunday River Brew Pub, in Bethel, Maine, for the coveted “Brew Pub donuts.” And Mia is in it for more than providing cafe snack convenience for the Gould community. Through her two trips to Tanzania—one as a ninth grader through the Four Point Program and an in the field English class—Mia understood first hand the importance of secondary education for girls. Working with Gould’s partner Tanzania Education Corporation, 100% of SA-KRED’s profits support Neema George at Tumaini Senior Secondary School in Tanzania.
CMO, Will Maloney, whose title is a spin on Mr. Ayotte’s maker-in-residence, sees SA-KRED as putting the IDEAS Center studios into action. Last spring he volunteered to build a movable cafe counter, which elevated the look and feel from bake sale to cafe. This year he again put his SketchUp and building skills to work and designed a three pour station. “I’m always down to build something. Especially if it makes things easier and look better. Having the knowledge and experience using my hands in the IDEAS Center I am able to improve our business with custom built tools that are the best fit for us. Having access to these working spaces enables us to make pretty much anything we could possibly need.”
Under the leadership of Maddie, Mia, and Will, SA-KRED is scaling well. Design thinking methods overlap business strategy, forcing the founders to prototype before scaling—it’s a process that is growing the “fail often and fast” mindset without compromising the tuition fee goals for Neema. What’s the next iteration for SA-KRED? Currently, they are prototyping a delivery system so students are not late to class if the line for coffee is long. Also, they are contracting Brett Shifrin’s Financial Matters class as book-keepers.
So, stop by the IDEAS Center cafe Wednesdays 9:25-10:25 and Thursdays 2:30-4:35 for a coffee and donut for a cause!