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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Saxbys arrives on Hawk Hill


Student run cafe opens in Campion Student Center

Philadelphia-based coffee company Saxbys opened its newest location on Oct. 1 in Campion Student Center.

The St. Joe’s Saxbys, like many of the company’s campus locations in Philadelphia, will be completely student run, a concept the company refers to as Experiential Learning Cafes.

“Every aspect of this bustling business, from team development through the profit and loss statement, is exclusively run by students,” said Nick Bayer, Saxbys founder and CEO.

The newly opened Saxbys in Campion Student Center (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Madison Dierolf ’20 will be in charge of operations at the St. Joe’s location, getting paid and earning credit in her role as Student Cafe Executive Officer (SCEO).

Dierolf is part of the Academy of Food Marketing Co-op Program, which offers students three semesters of paid work experience. Dierolf already has co-op experience from a previous semester at Saladworks.

“I am extremely excited to run this company for the first time at SJU,” Dierolf said. “It’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”

Jerry Bradley, director of the Food Marketing Cooperative Education Program, said, as SCEO, Dierolf is “responsible for the day-to-day management of the business” and will have direct oversight from a Saxbys employee.

Chelsea Logan will serve as Dierolf’s training manager.

“Essentially, she has full control over all of the team development, the financials, the ordering,” Logan said. “Everything that a normal manager would do, we train a student to do.”

Alexi Arias ’20 serves customers at Saxbys (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

A new SCEO will come on board each semester. In the spring, Doug Szilagy ’21, a food marketing major, will take over. Twenty additional students have been trained to work at the café, although they are not part of the co-op program.

Melissa Ardis, a coach and regional manager for Saxbys, said the turnover in SCEOs is one of the challenges and benefits of this type of operation.

“They are only here for six months, so they really start to master things as they’re headed out,” Ardis said. “It is really great to be able to internally promote people from our teams to that next step.”

Tim McGuriman, associate vice president of Administrative Services, said Saxbys approached the university about the opportunity to host a student-run operation.

“We are excited to have them,” McGuriman said. “Students wanted more variety.”

Bayer said the company’s close ties to the Maguire Foundation led them to consider a partnership with St. Joe’s.

“Saxbys and SJU share a common mission of service to others,” Bayer said.

McGuriman said one of the challenges of a student-run operation is managing staffing needs during final exams. In that case, he said, Saxbys staff may be asked to pitch in.

Students take a photo of their drinks (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).


Saxbys will not accept DB because it is not part of Aramark, McGuriman said. Customers will need to pay by cash or credit. Hawk Cash will also be accepted. Despite such challenges, McGuriman said having a student-run business on campus, especially one that is Philadelphia-based, is a win for the university.

“Part of introducing the concept of a Philly brand that is gaining momentum is the hope that students will see this unique Philly thing,” McGuriman said.


Natalie Drum ’20 and Alex Mark ’20 contributed to this report.


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Aramark staff may be asked to pitch in to help during final exams. The quote, attributed to Tim McGuriman, associate vice president of Administrative Services, has been corrected to read that “Saxby’s staff may be asked to pitch in.

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