One year ago, Penny’s decided to grow as a small business and start catering events. Thanks to Penny’s Catering, this small business has extended its mission of good coffee and close community beyond the walls of New Dormitory.
Senior Grace Bennett is the coordinator of Penny’s Catering. She fulfills orders, communicates with clients, and schedules pick-up times.
“You are automatically everyone’s favorite person when you show up with coffee and scones,” Bennett said.
Bennett said Penny’s Catering is an extension of what makes Penny’s “Penny’s” by serving the community well and producing delicious drinks regardless of the place, time, or event.
“There is a huge emphasis on hospitality, and it is a part of the shop, the staff, how we operate, and the vision we seek to have here,” she said. “Our catering is ultimately a reflection of these things, and it is a way that we can spread our vision and purpose.”
Bennett said her favorite part of her job is being able to work with people across campus and the community while providing drinks for their events and helping their events go well. Her favorite catered event was a breakfast for the women’s tennis team.
“I had to bake numerous batches of scones and bagels,” Bennett said. “I came into the shop at 5:30 a.m., watched the sunrise, and baked all morning.”
Bennett said events like these are why she is proud to run Penny’s Catering.
Sophomore Caleb Holm, a barista at Penny’s, named a few reasons as to why Penny’s coffee is different from Penny’s Catering.
“Even though the baristas are in college, Penny’s is a small business,” Holm said. “Because of that, there is always a personal touch from the baristas. We also make sure to prepare the catering orders within the hour they are needed, so that the coffee is hot, and the scones are fresh.”
He said he enjoys serving coffee to students and teachers.
“You get to meet a lot of students and provide quality coffee in an aesthetic environment,” he said. “We work shifts by ourselves, so things can get busy, but it’s never too bad — especially after having worked at Starbucks.”
Both Bennett and Holms expressed that their love of Penny’s goes beyond simply serving London fogs and shaken espressos. Each spoke highly of the customers they interact with on a daily basis and the community which Penny’s has fostered over the years.
“My favorite part is the friendships that I’ve made and how often I’m at Penny’s, either because I’m working or hanging out with a fellow barista on their shift,” Holms said. “It’s a great place to do work and chat with friends,” Holms said.
Freshman Kody Richards said she enjoys studying in Penny’s with an iced honey latte. “Pennys has really good food and coffee— not ‘good for a college campus’ coffee but actually good coffee,” Richards said.
Penny’s continues to grow and reach its community as a small business on a college campus because of people like Bennet, Holms, and Richards.With coffee and pastries available for catered events both on and off campus, Penny’s has become more accessible to customers who do not have the convenience of being a girl living in New Dormitory.