Are there grounds for a Westlake coffee shop?


Dark liquid being poured into a cup, dozens of choices offered; Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, Americano, Drip or even plain old American coffee. A coffee shop located in the Chap Court would not only be a nice place for students to enjoy coffee and relax in lounge chairs, but would also be a welcome treat to teachers as well.

“I would definitely buy coffee from a coffee shop, if one was added,”Spanish teacher Margaret Ellis said.

Currently Westlake only offers Mozart’s coffee in the Chap Court and Starbucks Frappuccinos in the vending machines. A coffee shop would provide a large range of drinks that suit every coffee drinker’s need. Westlake partnering with Starbucks or another coffee store would not only be a huge convenience to kids who go off campus to buy coffee, but it would also produce revenue for the school.

“I see lots of kids holding coffee cups in the morning from Starbucks,” sophomore Sean Sullivan said.  “It would be way more efficient to buy it here [at Westlake] and it would stop kids from falling asleep in my first period class.”

Having a coffee shop at Westlake would be a popular meeting place for students to hang out, socialize and study. It isn’t a new idea either — high schools like Lake Travis, Westwood, Drippings Springs, Cedar Ridge and Roundrock have all implemented coffee shops in their food courts. Even the director of child nutrition Ken Robinson for Canyon High School in Texas admitted to being inspired to add a coffee shop to their school after seeing similar shops on college campuses.

“A lot of people drink coffee, so having a coffee shop like Starbucks would bring a lot of money and sales to Westlake and Starbucks both,” sophomore Tom Gong said.
With every topic, there are students and teachers who will oppose it. Although coffee is allowed by the Texas Nutritional Care Act, is it wise to have students hyped up on caffeine? Some students may argue that it will help keep them awake and alert in class, but teachers argue that caffeine makes students unruly and more likely to be a distraction to other students.

“I don’t drink coffee myself, but as a teacher I would not promote giving caffeine to students or letting kids drink coffee in school,” world history teacher Jacob Stern said. “I don’t think students being able to buy coffee would be helpful, it would be distracting.”

Even though Westlake doesn’t currently have a coffee shop, it may have one in the future. There are several issues however, that prevent a shop from being built. First, there would be the problem of profits: would the shop even be profitable? Yes it would. Several schools reported that purchases at their in-school shop ranged from 300-1000 per day from students and teachers alike. The second problem is space. The Chap Court is only so large, so a new addition would have to be built to hold the shop.

“For the past several years, we have offered coffee from Mozart’s Coffee Roasters at The Blend, located in the Chap Court,” director of child nutrition Steve Stracke said. “Due to the limited space for points of service at WHS, we offer smoothies, coffee and assorted bakery items at this single location.”
Having a coffee shop outweighs the downsides of finding space, making an agreement with a coffee shop and the building process itself.

“I think a coffee shop would be a good addition to Westlake,” junior Andrew Marsh said. “It would be a popular hangout place and easier than going out to buy coffee.”