Friday, November 09, 2007

Great brew for diners

Great brew for diners

Providence Journal

Friday, November 9, 2007

Journal Staff Writer

SMITHFIELD — Marjorie Krakue and Apryl Silva stopped by a kiosk at the Bryant University student center the other day to get a cup of coffee.
Krakue, 21, of Warwick, is studying international business at Bryant; Silva, 20, of East Providence, is studying management.
They were on their way to a meeting of the school’s Multicultural Student Union, and chose this kiosk because the coffee was free.
And that is just the way the kiosk’s organizers had planned things: distribute free samples as a way to promote the brand.
Members of Bryant’s “Students in Free Enterprise” group are seeking to popularize a new brand of coffee, called New Hope Coffee, to raise money for a project of the Rhode Island Training School, a juvenile-detention facility.
The money will help Training School youths restore old diners for the American Diner Museum, a Providence-based organization focused on preserving diners and diner culture.
Bryant students provide the business skills, the Training School youths learn vocational and business skills, and the museum gets some vintage diners restored, organizers said.
The Bryant group is writing a business plan for the former Mike’s Diner, which is undergoing renovation, said Dan Caulfield, 20, of Fairfield, Conn., a Bryant junior who is majoring in accounting.
The business plan will serve as a template for other diners to be restored, he said. The Bryant student group is also working on a marketing plan for the coffee.
So students staffed the kiosk on two days this week to distribute free cups of coffee to raise awareness for the New Hope brand, which is part of the New Hope Diner Project, Caulfield said.
Passersby could also buy one-pound bags of New Hope Coffee or purchase mugs. (A one-pound bag of regular coffee was selling for $11, a one-pound bag of decaffeinated coffee for $12, a mug for $3, the students said.)
What does New Hope Coffee taste like? It is a premium blend, mild-roast coffee — “a cross between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks” — roasted by New Harvest Coffee Roasters of Pawtucket, said Lauren Rafferty, 19, of Enfield, Conn., a sophomore at Bryant who is studying management and marketing. All the money raised through the New Hope initiative goes to pay for the diner-renovation project; no taxpayer money is involved, she said.
“The state’s not paying for it; it’s all being done through donations,” Rafferty said. And the Bryant student group is an entirely volunteer organization; participants do not receive academic credit for their work, said Amanda Dunne, 20, of Salem, N.H., a junior at Bryant who is majoring in marketing.
The project was conceived by two Training School staff members: John Scott, community liaison, and William Tribelli, culinary-arts teacher. The plan is to restore Mike’s Diner, which had operated in Providence. When work is complete, Mike’s Diner will tour the state to promote the project.
The project will also result in the restoration, for commercial use, of Hickey’s Diner, Sherwood Diner and Louis’ Diner.
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, a Baltimore development firm that is involved in a number of redevelopment projects in Rhode Island, provided $10,000 in seed money to get several components of the project under way, according to a statement issued by Bryant.
As part of the project, the Bryant student group plans to teach the Training School youths about finance and other business matters, Caulfield said.
“The project is a really great thing for the students and for the community,” he said. By the end of this year, New Hope Coffee is to be available in a number of retail outlets in the state. Until then, it is being test-marketed in a several locations in Rhode Island. It is also available for sale through the American Diner Museum Web site.


American Diner Museum

P.O.Box 6022 Providence, Rhode Island 02940, United States
WWW.AMERICANDINERMUSEUM.ORG - American Diner Museum a member of the New Hope Alliance is a Federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation and all donations may be tax deductible. The Museum will provide the necessary documentation for tax purposes. However, an appraisal of non monetary gifts will be the responsibility of the donor.