Iced lavender latte and com­pli­mentary bis­cotti at Penny’s coffee shop | Carmel Kookogey

The new dorm coffee shop opened over the Home­coming weekend, serving up bis­cotti and its own house blend of espresso.

After having to push off its opening date several times, Penny’s opened for business in the New Dorm on Friday, Sept. 21. The coffee shop was met with enthu­siasm from several stu­dents who visited and drank coffee in the open lobby space.

“We’re just really excited to try things out, and we’re taking a lot of sug­ges­tions,” said Emily Barnum ‘18, Penny’s manager. “We want to make sure people get exactly what they want.”

One of the things Penny’s is trying out is their own house blend of espresso. Barnum explained that at the beginning of each shift, employees will pull mul­tiple shots to find the sweet spot between a coarser espresso taste, which happens when the water passes through the grounds quickly, and a more sour taste, when the water passes through for a longer time.

“Every single time we open, our baristas check the espresso grinders, sample, and taste to make sure they hit the sweet spot,” Barnum said. “We have to do that every shift because envi­ronment and tem­per­ature changes the flavor, so we re-cal­i­brate every time. It’s kind of fun, it’s like a science and an art.”

Student Manager sophomore Car­oline Hen­nekes said that she was impressed by the quality of the coffee.

“I’m not an avid coffee drinker, and can’t tell the dif­ference between other types coffee, but this is very good coffee, and I can tell the dif­ference. And that’s very refreshing to find on campus,” Hen­nekes said.

Penny Arnn, for whom the coffee shop is named, visited Sat­urday and expressed her joy at the shop’s opening.

“I saw it during con­struction, and visited on the Sat­urday of Home­coming just as Emily was closing. She gave me a cup of green tea and it was only later that I realized I had for­gotten to pay for it,” Arnn said in an email.

Often praised for her hos­pi­tality, Arnn said she was “delighted” to be the namesake of the newest study spot.

“I was asked early in the process if I would be willing to have the name con­sidered among the options to be voted on,” Arnn said. “That was such a com­pliment. It’s pretty fun to see my name on a sticker on every cup lid!”

Barnum explained that despite some dif­fi­culties in starting up the shop, student workers have remained pos­itive.

“There have been hitches the entire time, but we just roll with the punches, problem solve, be cre­ative and it’s good,” Barnum said.

Most impor­tantly, however, Penny’s has expressed a desire to replicate the hos­pi­tality Penny Arnn is known for by building com­munity, and Hen­nekes said the location and oper­ating hours of Penny’s are a part of that goal.

“On Sunday after­noons, or Sat­urday mornings on campus where some­times there isn’t a place to go, or A.J.’s isn’t open, and you want to have a quiet study spot or a place to do devo­tions, we want to be that space,” Hen­nekes said.

Arnn said she is proud of the com­munity Hillsdale has built already.

“We support one another and we care for one another. If we can share all that with guests to campus we extend our com­munity beyond Hillsdale.”

She added that she hopes the coffee shop encourages stu­dents to take a moment to slow down.

“We all lead busy and fast-moving lives,” Arnn said. “I hope the coffee shop will add another oppor­tunity on campus for slowing down that busyness just a little bit and promote friendly con­ver­sa­tions and com­pan­ionship.”

Michael Luc­chese ’18, who visited opening day, said he was “very impressed” with Penny’s.

“I think this is an excellent new insti­tution on our campus,” Luc­chese said. “Top-notch drinks served by top-notch girls. I’m sure that Penny’s is going to make its namesake very proud.”