Northern Lights: A Student-Run Cafe
The lack of practical late-night dining options had been a huge void on the Cliffside campus, a smaller, residential campus of Northern University. Tom Johnson, a business honors student, decided to explore his hunch that this was a vastly unmet need. After several years of research, planning, and organizing, a student-run café opened in April 2010. A series of financial, management and marketing changes made the café a growing success in the 2010-2011 academic year. The key issues facing the café management involved the need to increase new student awareness of the cafe’s presence on the Cliffside campus, to increase student knowledge of the café offerings and hours and get them to try the cafe, to get students to come back again once they try it, and to foster usage of the café as a place to hang out, not just to buy food.