Southwestern Student Co-Opens Coffee Shop

Southwestern Student Co-Opens Coffee Shop

Mountain Coffee Shoppe patrons E.T. Sharp, left, and Heder Sampaid, middle, stand with Ariel Herrera, co-owner and junior business student at Southwestern.

A new social center for students, Mountain Coffee Shoppe, is open across the street from Pechero Hall. It’s co-owned by Ariel Herrera, a junior business student at Southwestern, and Stephen Morris. They will also begin construction this weekend on an open mic studio. Southwestern Adventist University’s creative writing club, the Rough Writers, anticipate using the coffee shop for their Poetry Slam on Nov. 10.

Mountain Coffee Shop opened on Oct. 11 and business partners Ariel Herrera, junior at Southwestern, and Stephen Morris have high hopes not only for the coffee shop, but also for the whole community.

“We’re a lot cheaper than Starbucks, and not nearly as far to drive, not to mention much better quality,” says Morris.

“Our mission is to spread to the whole United States,” said Herrera. Morris went on to add that many large franchises started out in small towns. He explained that much of the tourism in Corpus Christi comes from people who want to visit the original Whataburger.

“Everybody wants to see the first,” said Morris. “We hope that our franchise will eventually have a similar effect here in Keene.”

They seem to be off to a good start. Last week they made enough revenue to cover a month’s rent. Herrera plans to open an additional location in about three years. They have invested thousands of dollars into the coffee shop, but say that they’re not afraid.

Herrera has been in the business world since the age of 12 when he started working with his father.

“I learned that if you risk you might get something, but if you don’t, then you’ll never know,” said Herrera. They make their coffee from Herrera’s own Honduran grown beans. The brew won fifth place in a global coffee competition in Portland, and came in second place nationally in a similar competition in Houston. He and Morris have already rejected an offer from Starbucks to buy the recipe.

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