Student Run Businesses
“We're not just teaching students about entrepreneurship. We're giving them the tools so they can go do entrepreneurship.”Stephen Carter
CHCA E&S Director
Internships at CHCA student run businesses offer students an understanding of what is required in entrepreneurship and managing a small business while in classes that are far from boring. These "incubators" are like all entrepreneurship efforts ... some will succeed and be long lasting and some will not. But they all embody our program benchmarks allowing students to develop a growth mindset, develop and apply grit, problem solve, and redefine failure.
Part classroom, part business training, and part educational enrichment, student run businesses are all parts fun.
We are a student-led business focused on offering an immersive, authentic fine dining experience. Hosted in our very own Greenhouse, we not only offer a delicious multi-course menu, but a truly unforgettable experience. With the finest ingredients, we ensure that our dishes are of the highest caliber, rivaling even professional restaurants. - Benjamin Sandefur '23
- Student Perspective
Boca Restaurant's Chef Falk demonstrates his "Blow People Away" philosophy to CHCA entrepreneurship students launching a fine-dining concept in our Teaching Kitchen space.
Journey through meticulously plated courses as part of a thematic menu designed to heighten the senses and awaken the palate.
Late Spring Menu
Amuse bouche - Beignet, foie caramel, ramps; Bay scallop, benne seed, beet; Duck consomme, quail yolk, hay oil
Garden - Asparagus, crab, capers, nasturtium, cane vinegar
Sea - Bronzino, carolina gold rice, ramp, eagle farms tomatoes, popped sorghum, nasturtium
Land - Muscovy duck, preserved peach, African runner peanut, duck jus, sorrel
Sweets - Local strawberry sorbet, champagne granita, rhubarb, jimmy red corn, blossoms
Coffee - Anaerobic natural coffee semifreddo, dark chocolate, caramel, hickory
Students oversee all aspects of running The Leaning Eagle coffee bar. They attend class by working in the coffee bar, making drinks, taking orders, and handling customer service. Additionally, they monitor sales and chart metrics to track inventory and determine profitability, design marketing campaigns and release new and seasonal drinks, record and edit original commercials, and continuously update the overall strategic plan.
Recently, the coffee bar has prioritized minimizing its carbon footprint by practicing sustainable techniques. These include only serving in compostable cups, educating customers about direct trade coffee and its benefits to coffee farmers, and purchasing local milk in glass bottles returned directly to the dairy.
They are directly engaged in hands-on operations and are responsible for the coffee bar’s overall success. In just 6 years, the coffee bar has grown from annual sales of just $1,000 to over $30,000 while maintaining a 30% profit margin. Leaning Eagle profits are applied toward Intersession Scholarships providing need-based assistance on Intersession experiences, and provide additional capital for other student-operated business opportunities at the school.
“Working at The Leaning Eagle has been a life-changing experience as I have gained an understanding of how a business operates. This is a class that everyone should take because it might just change what you choose to pursue as a career.”Bella Randle '22
Connor Espenshade ‘22 designed and built an app that allows direct ordering from The Leaning Eagle through an iOS device. The opportunity for delivery across the MSL high school campus during school hours is even included!
The Leaning Eagle Coffee Bar at CHCA has a rich history indeed—starting as a mobile espresso cart run by student volunteers, the coffee bar is now in a permanent location in the school’s Miracle Commons. In addition to serving a wide variety of delicious drinks, the coffee bar serves as an innovative classroom for the entrepreneurship students.
WCPO.com - "Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy students forgo Starbucks for student-run coffee bar goodness" (09/10/16)
WLWT.com - "Students run coffee bar at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy" (11/23/15)
Venue Magazine "Now Brewing: A Fresh Business Opportunity for Students" (10/10/15)
Provide customers with a truly unique coffee experience
Give employees a chance to gain real life entrepreneurial skills
Practice ethical and sustainable purchasing
Adapt to meet the needs of the student body
Serve as a center for community
Summertime fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter? As part of the farm-to-school cycle, the greenhouse and organic garden function as production areas where students grow a variety of crops including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, basil, beans, peas, lettuce, assorted greens, and berries that they ultimately market and sell. Eagle Farms produce, harvested just feet from where it's grown, is the centerpiece. The Eagle Farms Marketplace offerings are augmented by products from the school’s Teaching Kitchen and items from partnerships with local farms also rooted in sustainable practices.
Along with a physical recurring marketplace located in a classroom behind the greenhouse, students have launched an innovative approach to the digital grocery shopping experience by operating an online store that grossed $5,000 in sales year one.
Located in the back of the greenhouse, CHCA Eagle Farms Marketplace operates weekly to provide customers with fresh, locally grown produce and assorted products. What makes this marketplace concept unique is that it is offers “same day harvest” so that customers are ensured the freshest possible products from Eagle Farms.
Eagle Farms Marketplace is the pick-up location for eCommerce customers ordering through the Eagle Farms Website. With operating hours throughout the week (and a dedicated parking spot for pick up in the high school parking lot), the marketplace is a convenient way to avoid the hassle of the grocery store and support local food. With the end goal of creating a one-stop shopping experience, we are constantly expanding our offerings from Marketplace partners including Deeper Roots Coffee, Hartzler Dairy, Keever Creek Farms, and more.
Mini-Cup is CHCA’s Gr 7-8 entrepreneurship club where students work and lead in a business environment.
In 2021, the mini cup moved from its temporary location near the school office to a permanent location as part of the Mimi Ehlen Memorial Library (shown below). Nestled in one of the school’s beautiful innovation spaces, the Mini Cup offers an array of drink and food options to students and has been a stellar success. Guided by teachers, students must innovate ideas to bring in more revenue and customers. Mini-Cup student managers continually find ways to empower their peers and further enhance the overall experience for both customers and employees.
MA, University of Cincinnati
Before CHCA, Zach worked in various roles at the University of Cincinnati, including the last seven years as the video coordinator for the women's basketball program. He graduated from UC with two degrees, a bachelors in secondary education and a masters in instructional design and technology. Zach first felt called to be a teacher in the 3rd grade. He feels his role is to be a light to young people by being a positive life affirming presence that sees value in them - not because of anything they do but simply because they were perfectly and wonderfully made with a purpose and have the potential to radically transform their families, friends, and communities for the better. He is excited to come along side future leaders to equip and empower them to start the next great company.
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