Experiential Learning Café is the first at an HBCU
By Brittany N. Gaddy
Bowie State University recently celebrated the grand opening of Saxbys Experiential Learning Café in the lobby of the Student Center.
Bowie State and Saxbys, which is a coffee and social impact company, are partners in providing students with the opportunity to lead and operate a Saxbys’ café on campus.
Festivities began with the official grand opening celebration. The Student Center lobby was filled with music and student talent as the Symphony of Soul Marching Band, cheerleaders, fraternities, and sororities all performed in celebration of the partnership. Students also received free reusable coffee cups and coupons for the café.
Later in the day Saxbys CEO Nick Bayer sat down with Bowie State President Aminta Breaux for a “Firesat Chat.” Bayer discussed the origins of Saxbys and his inspiration for venturing into the coffee business.
“I wanted to build a business that would welcome everybody,” he said. “This business doesn’t care about whether you are old or young, whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re educated or uneducated.”
Bayer also expressed his excitement for the partnership between Saxbys and Bowie State. “Today we just got to celebrate an unbelievable community,” he said. “Bowie State was created in 1865. Saxbys was created in 2005. … Two communities came together with very similar missions in all of the beautiful energy and passion and dancing and smiles that we got to witness down there.”
Devin Gallion, a junior business administration major, serves as Bowie State’s Student Café Executive Officer. Gallion’s responsibilities include managing 45 students, overseeing all cafe operations, and presenting monthly profit and loss statements to the executive team at Saxbys.
Bowie State is Saxbys’ first Experiential Learning Café location outside of Pennsylvania. Also, Bowie State is Saxbys’ first location at a historically black college or university. The café has already proved itself popular among students and staff who frequently visit it for a snack between classes.