DECA shifts focus away from DECAfé

ECAfé management changes to Food Services


Reagan Stanchfield, staff writer

If you are a sophomore or older at Edina High School, you may remember the DECAfé, a small store serving food and beverages that was run by Edina’s business department and the DECA class. Students would visit the DECAfé if they needed a midday pick-me-up in the form of a snack or to get a break from their hectic day in the high school. This school year, however, the DECAfé has been closed.

The business department is no longer responsible for the management of the café, and they are instead looking to expand the classroom aspect of their class. The heavy workload for both Mr. Gallagher, the sole DECA teacher, and DECA students, became unrealistic for running a successful café. “[It was] hard to find kids that could really commit that amount of time with the workload Edina High School has for kids,” Gallagher said. He hopes the decreased work hours for officers will give more students the chance to apply for a leadership position.

In the past, the DECA officers spent many extra hours a week for the café buying food, managing other employees, and working shifts. Even students working at the café without a leadership position had a challenging amount of extracurricular work, including working at the café and preparing for DECA competitions, which was accompanied by standard homework.

The management of a store selling food became difficult for a business teacher and his students, especially with the introduction of Edina’s wellness plan and other nutritional guidelines that were not established when the DECAfé first opened. This policy requires that food served by the school meets government regulations, is minimally processed, contains minimal saturated fat and sugars, and follows several other regulations.

One benefit that DECA is giving up is the profit generated by the café. In the past, it was used to cover some expenses of DECA competitors traveling for national competitions. Mr. Gallagher said that they plan to do other fundraisers and business simulations, such as selling flowers to fundraise for the program.

The management of the café is shifting from DECA to the Food Service Department. Dan Hutchinson, the Director of Dining Services, is transforming it into the rebranded ECAfé. The new name was revealed when the ‘D’ was taken off of the sign above the old DECAfé, abbreviating ‘Edina Café.’ “I’d like to have it open, especially because we have student prep and kids down there. It’s nice to have a coffee or a snack or something like that,” said Beaton.

Instead of student employees, a staff member from the cafeteria will be responsible for running the café. The ECAfé will first open before school to serve breakfast and then expand its hours to what the DECAfé previously implemented. Hot food and frozen yogurt will also be introduced to the menu of the café. Mr. Hutchinson plans to open the café by early November.