Skip to content

Clover Café opens at St. Patrick High School

After two years of planning, The Clover Café opened for business on Wednesday afternoon at the St. Patrick High School cafeteria.
Clover Cafe Launch
St. Patrick High School students put together meals and drinks during the opening of The Clover Café in the school’s cafeteria on Wednesday afternoon

THUNDER BAY — After two years of planning, The Clover Café opened for business on Wednesday afternoon at the St. Patrick High School cafeteria.

Hospitality and Tourism Technology teacher Karen Cameron-Powell, who led the project along with Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board Experiential Learning Consultant Marcy Barry, says the Café project helps gives St. Patrick students real world experiences that will help them when they enter the workforce.

“They become part of a team, they learn about collaboration and problem solving, accounting skills, math skills and kitchen skills,” Cameron-Powell said.

“This helps them get started because the students have said that the most difficult thing for them when they go to apply for a job is that business want people who have work experience.

“Here in the Café, they have that and they can apply what they learn here to other jobs.”

Cameron-Powell and Barry applied for an innovation grant in 2021 but were looking for an idea that would work with the Hospitality and Tourism program.

During a conversation with co-worker Sandra Caputi, she brought up the idea of a café, and the ball got rolling.

“Over the course of the last year, my SHSM (specialist high skills major) students, helped out with everything,” Cameron-Powell said.

“That ranged from creating the website and QR code for the Café, purchasing equipment, deciding on what kind of coffees and drinks we would have, and creating recipes that go with the menu.

“They pretty much did everything that you would do in a start-up business.”

The Café also got help from students in the Media Arts, Construction Technology ad Entrepreneurship programs, who assisted in things such as custom made drink holders, social media accounts and signage.  

Students from Grades 9-12 are involved in the Café, which is open in the morning prior to the school day starting and during lunch hours.

Menu items range from croissants, lemon loafs and oat bars, while patrons can purchase lemonade, boba tea and a variety of coffees to drink.

Cameron-Powell says that the students have enjoyed the process of putting everything together and are looking forward to serving everyone at St. Patrick.

“They love coming here,” Cameron-Powell added. “It’s a place where they can hang out and have fun, but they are also learning at the same time and they are gaining experience.

“It’s been really amazing to them come together as a group and work hard as a team.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks