Saxbys Coffee celebrated the grand opening of its newest café on Monday, April 13, located at 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue on Drexel University’s campus in Philadelphia. The product of a partnership between Saxbys and Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship, the café is the nation’s first entirely student-run café where students earn credit through a uiversity cooperative education (co-op) program.

Through this unprecedented partnership, co-op managers will oversee the entire operation. The Saxbys co-op will provide Drexel students with real-life, hands-on management experience unlike any other program in existence and will offer a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of how a successful business is run.

Saxbys CEO and founder Nick Bayer will play a crucial role in the co-op experience, serving as a mentor to the students and offering them one-on-one guidance and support. Bayer will also join the Drexel faculty as an adjunct profesor and teach a course on franchising for the Close School in the fall of 2015.

“We’re so thrilled to officially open the doors of our new Saxbys café and kick off our partnership with Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship,” Bayer says. “We have already been privileged to have two extraordinary Drexel students participate in the Saxbys co-op, and we can’t wait to continue the shared experience of teaching and learning from Close School students for many years to come.”

Bayer was joined at the café’s opening by Drexel University president John Fry, 11-term U.S. Congressman Chaka Fatta, and dean of Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship Donna De Carolis. De Carolis joined Bayer in pulling the café’s first espresso shots.

Also in attendance was co-op café manager Kelsey Goslin, a Drexel University junior who has assumed full responsibility for operations, as well as Drexel University student Meghan Regan, the café’s inaugural co-op manager who had a key role in hiring and developing the café’s 25+ student team.

The café, which aims to become a mainstay in the University City and Drexel communities, features several tables and chairs that were reclaimed from the former University City High School in Philadelphia. The café’s tables were sealed and mounted on steel frames by Oat Foundry, a Bensalem-based company founded by recent Drexel graduates who also handcrafted the café’s wood signage. Drexel University Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design students also provided all of the art displayed in the café, including the hand-painted coffee bar.

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