The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 28, 2013

Bethany students helping coordinate cafe giveaway in Sherburn

(Continued)

MANKATO —

The Scheppmanns and Hansens hope the new owners will come with new ideas to bolster business. Right now it’s open for breakfast and lunch and serves sandwiches, burgers, soups and homemade sweets, among other things.

The cafe means so much to the community that they even got staff who worked in the cafe many years ago, now in their 70s, to come back and work, said Bethany senior Hayden Hough.

Two months ago, when the place was renovated and running smoothly, Bryan Stading, executive director of the Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation, came on board. Stading has an office in Martin County, which is how he knew about the business.

The center, located on the Bethany campus, partners with students to provide real-world business experience and opportunities to them. This project was the perfect fit, he said.

“This may never happen to us again in a lifetime,” Stading said. “It’s such a cool philanthropy story.”

Stading, more than two dozen students, their instructor Shane Bowyer and others from Bethany went to the cafe a couple of weeks ago to get familiar with the big task they were taking on. Hough said he was fully on board and excited after the visit, getting to meet the Scheppmanns, the staff and the customers. He said many of the students got hugs from people there.

“The town’s people are really behind the cafe,” Hough said.

The Scheppmanns and the Hansens don’t want to make money. They just want someone to own the cafe who cares about keeping the place a viable Sherburn business, Stading said. So they decided to give away Cup ’N Saucer.

The class returned from their visit ready to get to work on how best to handle that task. Senior Anne Huckaby said the class was inspired by “The Spitfire Grill,” a movie about a small-town cafe given way through an essay contest.

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