The Future of Da Vinci Baristas

Da Vinci Baristas construction during July, 2022.

Da Vinci Baristas has sparked the interest of many students at DVC since the start of its construction earlier this year. Even now, several months after being baited with the idea of the cafe, students look longingly at the construction corner, in hopes that it may become the cafe it was promised to be. However, for those who do not attend board meetings, the advancement of Da Vinci Baristas is rather unknown and bleak.

The project first started in the classroom of the Entrepreneurship pathway at Da Vinci Design. It was created so students could learn about different business models and apply them in the real world while allowing work experience opportunities. 

Chief Administrative Officer and System Superintendent, Vicente Bravo, shared where else the idea could have originated from.

“It also came from, I think, a conversation that may have been generated by our chief executive officer and Superintendent Dr. Matt Wonder, who had heard about something like this out in other places and you know, mostly colleges and junior colleges. You don’t see too many of these in high schools, but they do have some, we looked at as well. So I think the process kind of evolved, you know, there was a notion, and it might have even been something that was in place from the very beginning,” Bravo said. 

Even the corner in which the Da Vinci Barista is currently located is said to have been made with the thought of a school owned business. However, it wasn’t until recently that the corner was planned to be utilized to its full potential.

To the public eye, it looked as if project planning had been paused, or gotten to the point where the plans were abandoned. This was proven with the constant emptiness of the corner that the coffee shop would have filled.

However, the project is certainly not on hiatus, as asserted by Bravo.

“We had to make sure we were going down the right path because again, it’s not a very common factor in the school,” he said. 

After all, student work experience, expenses, and profit placing were factors that were new and needed to be decided upon prior to construction and opening. Additionally, when construction did start, smaller details like electrical outlets and power distribution had to be kept in mind. 

“Some small details and placement; making sure that we made best use of the space. We went through several design changes and design modifications to make sure that we had what we needed and that it was going to work based on what the general concept was for it when it’s completed and up and running,” stated Bravo.

The current state of Da Vinci Baristas as of November 2022.

Constructing and planning an entire cafe is no easy feat, and in order to ensure the smooth running of the cafe when it finally opened, much preparation was needed. This was the main factor as to why the cafe appeared to be in a stasis, when in fact, the plans were still underway.

On another note, Daniela Torres, a twelfth grade student board member, explained her involvement within the project. 

“I don’t really have a role. I inserted myself into the plans,” Torres said. “I might be selling my baked goods at the cafe if the state allows, they have weird requirements.”

While nothing is being finalized or announced publicly, much less allowing  students to sell goods at the cafe, it is almost guaranteed that the catering options will be coming from local businesses.

“We are looking to work with local vendors. That’s one of the things I personally have tried to do recently, especially when COVID hit,” Bravo mentioned.

Since COVID has complicated a number of things, including procurement of materials and catering, going local was the logical thing to do. Bravo added that working with local businesses has its benefits like increased customer service, as getting an immediate response is easier than with a corporate company. 

Additionally, it’s important as a small school business to work with other local businesses in order to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit that first inspired the plans of the Da Vinci Baristas Cafe. 

But what about the impact of Da Vinci Baristas? After all, its legacy can vary widely. For example, it will be able to provide a source of real world experience for students at the comfort of their own school, allowing them to harness new skills. It can also bring a new source of profit to the school and fund much needed programs and school projects. 

Picture of coffee, a potential menu item (credits: ISO Republi)

“It will hopefully also have a positive impact on the overall culture of the school, especially for all of our coffee drinking staff and students who will now have a very “local” spot that can provide them what they need,” Bravo said,  in relation to the cultural impact.

While an official opening date is not yet confirmed, it has been estimated that the cafe will open sometime this year, the 2022-2023 school year. May the smell of coffee fill Da Vinci Schools soon.