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Flavor Face Off brings students and professors together

Photo Illustration by Antelope Staff

The personalities that shape UNK’s West Center have now become specialty drinks on Brewed Awakening’s menu. The Flavor Face Off is a competition held by students in a small business management class, working along with 24 UNK professors and staff. 

“The idea was that we could develop this sense of community behind the coffee shop if we associated the personalities that are over there,” said Travis Hollman, a lecturer in the College of Business and Technology. “Some of your most legendary thoughts of people when you’re in college.”

Hollman pitched the idea a year ago to give an opportunity for students enrolled in the class to be partnered with the coffee shop’s employees, creating cohesion within the West Center area. 

Management students paired up with a West Center or Discovery building staff member of their choice to act as a sort of “client.” The students are then the agents, developing a product that the client would support and endorse. 

The drink creation process is deeply rooted in the staff member’s drink preferences, personality and representation. Samples were made and tested with the Brewed Awakening baristas, and the students worked with their faculty members to mix up the perfect drink. 

“I wanted the drink to be authentic to me,”  said Brenda Jochum, associate director of student development. “I am a coffee drinker, and my favorite is a white mocha. Our intention was to have an extra shot of espresso for more strength.”

The competition and class ongoings are mostly student driven. On Wednesday mornings, the class meets with the Brewed Awakening team to discuss ideas. Students are tasked with figuring the cost of the drink as well as product development, promotion, competition and event driven aspects of business. They are also assigned at least six shifts or catering runs for the coffee shop. 

“They get to know how to make the coffee, wipe down things and help prepare things,” Hollman said. “I want them to really know how every inch of the business works.”

Friendly competition to climb the leaderboard has arisen as participating staff have dressed up for Halloween as their drink, while another has bought their class their specialty drink. 

“I think the competition is a fabulous idea and it has greatly increased awareness of Brewed Awakening,” said Suzanne Hayes, a finance professor participating in the competition. “It is a friendly competition that fosters a cohesive environment on campus.”

As the competition continues, the top eight drinks will be a part of a tournament which will last for three weeks. The other drinks, even though not on the leaderboard, will still be served to those who order them. On December 1, the top drink will be added to the Brewed Awakening menu permanently and the winner will get a trophy during a ceremony. 

“We’re going to have a ceremony and get them to drink out of the trophy,” said Hollman. “So, they’re having a lot of fun with it.”

A bingo sheet is available for students to print and earn stamps on the specialty drinks they purchase through the month of November. Each bingo earns students a chance to enter into a drawing for $25 credit at Brewed Awakening. 

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Corinne Smith
Corinne Smith, Reporter
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