Alyse Viggiano ’13 helps increase sales at an on-campus, student-run coffee shop
By Ashley Campbell ’15
Alyse Viggiano ’13, a marketing major from Mt. Lebanon, Pa., has proven to be a valuable asset. The senior, who started working at The Cubby in 2010, is managing the coffee shop successfully. Since 2011, sales have increased from $200 a week to $1,500, partly because of later hours.
The Cubby used to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but the hours were changed to 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. this past fall. Viggiano’s boss, Tyson Dubay, credits her as the main reason for the success.
“The goal is to keep students on campus, which benefits our program more because it’s student run,” Dubay says.Viggiano’s job includes, but isn’t limited to, determining a schedule for fellow student workers, helping them, overseeing the work progress, and baking. Her friendly and open demeanor helps.
“It takes someone like her to run The Cubby,” Dubay says, adding that students help attract customers and do an excellent job encouraging them to return. “Some of the most reliable people are students.”
Working at The Cubby is a meaningful learning experience because it gives students a taste of the real world because they’re interacting with others.
As a former barista at an Italian restaurant, Viggiano is used to quality coffee drinks.
“Students don’t know much about a mocha latte, so I’m adding a bit of traditional Italian,” she says.
Viggiano doesn’t want to sell just regular coffee drinks. Part of The Cubby’s charm is its personalization. Each unique drink is associated with events on campus. For St. Patrick’s Day, she sold the Shamrock, a green latte. Many of the drinks are associated with holidays, but Viggiano occasionally comes up with new ones, such as The London Fog, which she describes as a tea latte.
“I got the idea from abroad,” she says, referring to her trip to London in the spring of 2011.
Viggiano tries to present The Cubby as more than just a coffee shop by adding even more drinks such as caffeinated beverages. Coffee-like drinks seem to sell better among college students considering late-night hours they keep. She tries to make sure each one has its own identity. Dubay and Viggiano believe a drink’s uniqueness is what brings students back for more.
“Being tied to students is where we want to be,” Dubay says.
Viggiano, who played golf in high school, has focused intensely on working at The Cubbby.
“There really isn’t anything else I’d rather be doing,” she says.
The coffee shop has given Viggiano the chance to work with other student-run programs such as Student Union Programming Board and Relay for Life. To help them, she creates drinks that promote events sponsored by these programs.
Viggiano plans to work at The Cubby next semester and is thinking about working in the food-and-beverage industry after she graduates from Carroll but isn’t sure.
“I plan to work in low-income areas and educate students about sustainability,” she says.
However, Viggiano is sure of one thing when it comes to her future – the need to own her own business.
“I want to run my own coffee shop,” she says. JCU