Café and Apparel Shop Under New Management

Marshfield High School’s student-run stores are no more.Over the summer the school district put an end to the student-run apparel shop and cafe, essentially ending the majority of opportunity for student employment through Marshfield.
According to Principal Travis Howard, the staffing changes in the two relations are not related.
“We are bound by a contract with our food service provider that we will not compete against anything served in the cafeteria,” Howard said. “We were having trouble coming up with items that students would like that weren’t competing with the food service.”
The company Sodexo bought the cafe, and now runs it, in addition to the cafeteria.
Howard said this change allows Sodexo to serve other foods that are nutritious and enjoyable for the students.
“We are bound also by our district’s wellness policy which limited us as far as the things we could provide,” said Howard. “The food service department is skilled at providing items that students will like that fall under this policy.”
Now, all employees at the cafe must be representatives of the Sodexo Corporation.
Previous barista of the cafe, senior Ling Ling Zhu, said she is sad about students losing the ability to gain work experience at school.
“I feel bad that kids who want to work can’t because of theater, debate, thespian, dance or other after school activities,” Zhu said.
Zhu said she believes the work experience she gained at the cafe is the main reason she was prepared for her current job.
Howard said as far as the cafe is concerned, it is going to be a positive change.
“It can be open earlier before school, at lunch and sometimes after school,” Howard said. “They can better provide snacks and drinks for kids that are one, nutritionally balanced and two, appealing to the students.”
Along with new management, the cafe has undergone changes in prices and appearance.
Zhu said the cafe feels less relaxed.
“I remember when I was a freshman, I was so excited that there was a cafe that allowed upperclassmen to serve me,” Zhu said. “Now, it feels more like a cafeteria, but a really good one.”
Unlike the cafe situation, Howard said the changes in administrative staff at Marshfield and Harding were the main reason for the new employment at the apparel shop.
“[Teacher Jennifer] Abney ran a class during the day which allowed students to work at the shop, but due to a shift in the needs at Harding, she had to devote more time there,” Howard said.
According to Howard, the Marshfield High School Booster Club took over the apparel shop, and is selling the merchandise at games as well.
Howard said nothing but positivity comes from the new apparel shop.
“Now we do not have to compete with the Booster Club, and even more support can come from them,” Howard said. “I think the main focus for them is to discount old items and replace them with more appealing merchandise for the consumers.”
The main concern that both Howard and Zhu believe lingers is the lost opportunity for in school work experience, although Howard hopes the administration can find new and more beneficial ways for students to gain experience.
“We hope to develop and implement a work experience program and fulfill the needs for students inside jobs around the community,” Howard said.