Whittier Tech students working in their school's new coffee cafe

Whittier Tech students Noel Allen and Haley Miller, both of Salisbury, work in Whittier Tech’s new coffee cafe, which allows hospitality students to learn systems for take-out businesses.

HAVERHILL — Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School has opened a coffee café where students directly interact with the public while learning the ins and outs of running a food service business.

Daily offerings include a daily brew, weekly pastries, and cold lunch options. Customer can also order the regular Poet’s Inn menu for hot meals or daily specials.

Students Noel Allen and Haley Miller, both of Salisbury, work in Whittier’s new coffee café, which allows hospitality students to learn systems for takeout businesses.

The new shop is part of an expansion of the school’s hospitality pathway, which is enhancing real-world job training and opportunities for students upon graduation, said Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch.

The café, which is adjacent to the school’s popular Poet’s Inn restaurant, includes a bakery case, espresso machine, and point-of-sales systems where students learn operations for takeout orders.

“I really enjoyed interacting with the people and putting smiles on their faces,” said Alannah Noone, a sophomore from Salisbury. “As long as the public is happy, I am happy.

“Quarter 1, as a sophomore exploring the hospitality track, the opportunities for travel, industry choices and interacting with different people are really appealing,” Noone added.

“I like the experience of helping customers; at the end of the day, I feel happy,” said Jana Vicioso, a sophomore from Haverhill. “I feel proud of the work I did.”

Whittier’s café is open for breakfast Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., and for lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The café is closed Wednesdays, weekends, holidays, and during in-school functions.

As part of the initiative, students are touring local businesses in the hospitality industry to learn about the paths their education can take.

On their first field trip, students visited Briar Barn Inn in Rowley, a farmhouse inn, restaurant, and spa. Sarah Boucher, vice president of marketing and communications, led students and staff on a tour including the guest rooms, the wedding venue, the Grove Restaurant, pool, and spa.

The students’ professionalism and high level of engagement impressed the Briar Barn Inn leadership, Whittier officials said. The inn now is working with Whittier’s Hospitality Advisory Board to create an unpaid internship for a sophomore in the fourth quarter of the school year.

“One of our main goals at Whittier Tech is to anticipate market needs and prepare our students to fill those emerging jobs,” Lynch said. “Hospitality instructors Krizstina Perron and Nicole Grupposo have been working diligently, given projected growth in industry, to provide the most opportunities for our graduates. We are especially grateful for this emerging partnership with Briar Barn Inn, which will be a plus for our students.”

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you