Wittenberg opens student-owned and operated coffee bar

Wittenberg University recently opened up a student-owned and operated coffee bar inside the Thomas Library.

Sip’s Coffee Bar is a student-run operation under Tiger Ventures, a new business incubator at the college and Sip’s parent company. It’s one of two entities under the Tiger Ventures’ umbrella, along with Tiger Fuel, a smoothie shop located in the atrium of the Pam Evans Smith Arena, part of the Health, Wellness & Athletics Complex.

“Students have put a lot of time and effort into opening this space in COMPASS to bring good coffee to campus,” said Mackee Miller, class of 2025 from New Carlisle, and president of Sip’s Coffee Bar. “Opening Sip’s was a joint effort from everyone. I am grateful to be surrounded by great, hard-working people who make my job fun while still learning a lot.”

Along with Miller, the team includes Maci Pierson, operations manager and class of 2025, from New Carlisle; Ally White, marketing manager and class of 2026 from Harrison; Nick Stover, financial manager and class of 2025, from Paris; and 14 baristas, as well as advisors Kevin Steidel, professor of practice, business and economics, and Timmy McCarthy, class of 2002 and professional in-residence.

Job positions within Tiger Ventures and Sip’s are created for students to move up in the company while gaining experience running a business. Students apply and interview for a positions just as they would an actual company. Being president may be a position that students hold until graduation, depending on when they become involved, their goals, and what kind of competition there is for the position.

The idea to open a coffee shop in the library came about when Miller and Tiger Ventures CEO Ian Ash, class of 2024 and an entrepreneurship major from Akron, met during FIRE (Focused, Integrated, Reflective, Experience) Week last year.

Sip’s serves Boston Stoker coffee, with “everything coffee-wise,” a variety of flavors and flavored Red Bull energy drinks, and pastries made by D-Sweets on East Main Street in Springfield, which will rotate and change during the seasons.

“We wanted an option for everyone, and I am proud of how that vision came to life. Having a diverse menu was a lot of taste-testing. However, I like my coffee strong, so I had to outsource a little for opinions. The whole process has been fun, and creating the menu has been one of my favorite parts,” Miller said.

The coffee bar, located in the Thomas Library’s COMPASS: Sweet Success Center, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Community members and the public are welcome to visit.

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