By Hannah Schultz
Allison Antram is the new manager of the Hiccup Café this year and approaches the position with a fresh outlook for Asbury’s favorite campus coffee shop. “One of my main goals is to create a personality for the Hiccup, inspire conversation and encouragement, make it more efficient, and make it even more a part of campus,” she said.
Her first step was training an almost entirely new staff. No doubt, most students who have en- tered the Student Center in the past few weeks have witnessed the long lines or left with dismay as they were told the Hiccup was out of vanilla ice-cream for their Oreo Milkshake. “It is a learning process for everyone, including myself,” she said of orienting the new workers to the fast-paced rhythm of a coffee shop. While Antram does not have experience with management, she is pas- sionate about coffee and has an extensive background in the field, having worked in both the Hic- cup and Starbucks. “It gets chaotic, but we are all working hard and we are all doing our best,” she said, emphasizing the progress her employees have made over the past few weeks. “We’re learning, but there’s a lot of grace involved.”
Several changes have already been implemented in the café, including specialty drinks and the “Espresso Yourself” wall. More differences will be seen in the coming months. The Hiccup will be testing out staying open on Saturdays, possibly making the extended hours permanent based on campus’ reception to the idea. The pastry and food selection is being expanded. The “Espresso Yourself” wall will feature different baristas and their favorite drinks. The café will be decorated through a student art program to get campus more involved and promote student talent. There will be opportunities for students to submit weird drink creations, which will be displayed on the chalkboard wall along with their name.
One of the most notable changes Antram has instituted is the “Pay it Forward” initiative. “This has been my dream since I got this job—it is my ‘baby,’” she said of the project. “Pay it Forward” provides a creative way for students to encourage each other and build campus community. The idea is very simple: buy a drink, write the “Pay it Forward” on the cup sleeve, then hang it up. These can range from a free drink for a friend having a bad day to making someone tell a joke to the barista. “I witnessed a man singing “Let It Go”—the whole song—for a barista,” Allison said when asked what her favorite “Pay it Forward” has been so far. “To see [the project] coming to life and people getting excited about it and encouraging each other makes my heart so happy. I am so looking forward to watching it grow this year.”
Along with her other managers, Allison has a lot of plans for the Hiccup and for leading her team in a Christ-like way. Throughout the coming months, she hopes to see the Hiccup evolve into an integral part of campus and become more profitable, all while encouraging spiritual fellowship and community. “I am looking forward to serving and loving campus and my baristas and creating a different and better café,” she said of her goals for the next year.