We have now concluded our internship with RedEye. It has been a true privilege to be part of such a great social enterprise that is having a positive impact on the lives of people both locally and globally. It was a great experience being able to work with Mark throughout the semester, as well as all the RedEye interns. Applying what I had learned in several social entrepreneurship courses at FSU into the hands-on work that we did this semester really solidified my understand and appreciation of social entrepreneurship.
I really enjoyed learning from Mark on how to properly create pro-formas for our VegFest event. It taught me that it is very important to plan ahead and make sure that the business you do will be sustainable. I also enjoyed being able to work as a team, which is important to do in any kind of business, whether it be social business or a regular for profit business. Taking the RedEye Coffee truck to to VegFest and serving quality coffee to the community was a great experience in itself. All our customers seemed to really enjoy our coffee and seemed to be very interested and supportive of RedEyes social mission. RedEye helped me realize that everybody, including myself, need to become aware of where our products come from and what the working conditions of people abroad are. Fair-Trade is a growing concept that should be implemented on all organizations around the world, and RedEye is helping by being the change we need to see. I enjoyed my time at RedEye and I know that I will be applying my skills and knowledge of social entrepreneurship into my future business endeavors.
We had decided to prepare for VegFest as our event for this semester. On March 20th we got all our supplies ready and got on the road with the RedEye coffee truck and headed towards the Cascades Park. We got there and parked our truck in our designated spot early in the morning and set up next to the Backpackers Box food truck. Our first customers were people that also had food trucks and who were helping to run the event, they were the first people there and were looking for a nice cup of coffee to help them get their day started. Everything went well with getting the truck set up and ready for customers, and since there was an electrical outlet right behind us, we didn’t have to worry about bringing out the generators. Once 11am hit, people began to visit VegFest and our customer lines began to extend. We were parked along the busiest path at VegFest, therefore our spot was very convenient for business.
The RedEye coffee truck seemed to be a hotspot at VegFest, since we had constant customers throughout the day. Operations went really well when we got into the rhythm of brewing coffee and different drinks that our customers wanted. We also got a lot of good feedback from our customers. A lot of them were curious about RedEye and seemed to be very supporting of our social mission. People really seemed to enjoy themselves and the team enjoyed themselves providing great coffee and making a positive impact. We gave away some brochures to people that were interested in learning more about RedEye, and even sold a shirt to a customer that really liked what we were doing.
At one point we began to run low in our iced coffee supply, so I returned to Element3 Church and picked up more. This was a good sign of our progress and success on that day. It turns out that we were able to make a revenue of $540.50 from coffee and merchandise sales. After expenses we turned out to make $139.56 in profit for RedEye, which is more than we expected to make at the event. Mark was very pleased with our performance that day, and so were we. The internship has taught us how valuable it is to properly plan and prepare for events where we are going to do business, and VegFest was a great opportunity to implement what we learned from Mark on doing so.
Since my first post, we had continued to make tremendous progress with our group and our internship. We decided that we would choose the North Florida VegFest as our event where we would bring the coffee truck. Our whole group has done a great job of making sure that we were well prepared for the event. We made sure that all the paperwork was complete for our spot at VegFest and all the supplies were in order. The event will be a great opportunity for us to expand RedEye’s customer base, since the event is expected to bring a crowd of around 3,000 people.
We are all working together and have assigned assignments for each one of us in the group in order to make the event a success. I am looking forward to meeting up with our group to work at the event and help make a positive impact on our communities. I think the North Florida VegFest is a perfect fit for us and I think people will be very interested in RedEyes social mission.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to help run the truck with Allen and Scott and serve coffee to customers at the Young Actors Theatre. The event being held was a 5k run for the theatre and we were able to serve families with quality coffee. I had a good time helping out at the event, and got to spend time and learn from both Allen and Scott on how to properly run the coffee truck. I look forward to working the truck at VegFest and seeing how the event turns out!
This blog post is about my self-reflection from this semester. All of my classes allowed me to gain a new integrative perspective on my future career plans. I would say that food systems planning played the heaviest role in my thought process because the topic of food is significant to everyone’s life, rather you have it or not. Therefore, here are my thoughts:
Throughout this semester, I have taken into account multiple positions in the world of food systems planning. Whenever I came across an interesting job in this field, I would instantly scope out the position to see if it was something I could see myself pursuing in the near future. After doing a lot of researching I instantly became overwhelmed with all the different opportunities. I struggled to find a career in the food systems planning field that matched my passions. It wasn’t until the end of my internship at the Frenchtown Heritage market that I realized my curiosity for food systems planning was just an interest and not a passion of mine. To me, an interest is being so intrigued in a topic where you are inspired to learn more about it. However, I define a passion as having more than just an academic attachment to a topic but also having a strong emotion and connection to the topic. I want my passion to be something that I could see myself joyfully committing my time and dedication to for the next 30 to 40 years of my life. I will definitely incorporate all of my knowledge of food systems planning into my passion of helping to sustain traditional medicine and cultural history of indigenous and minority communities in both the Caribbean and Latin America. Being still very interested in food systems planning, I could see myself playing an interactive part time role and not a full-time role in the field. Therefore, I do not see myself working in food policy, food planning, nor a community organizer in the field of food systems planning. Instead, I see myself playing an indirect role as a naturopathic physician serving to sustain traditional medicine and cultural history of indigenous and minority communities in both the Caribbean and Latin America.
Internships are supposed to give you practical life skills. This is why generally, job markets like when young people go through internships first, so they know you have some basic work skills under your belt (other than passing some classes in college).
Here at Domi, I’ve learned valuable life skills. Communicating is a huge one. If you do not communicate, ask questions, share insight, then you won’t really get much out of your experience. I was told to jump in, so I jumped. I have not sparked conversations with everyone here at Domi, perhaps more than eight hours a week would have helped that cause. But the conversations that I have had have been great! There are little things I like more than listening to what people are passionate about.
Also through communication came great opportunities. One of them being the Innovation Crawl for this summer. Knowing my interest in international affairs and people, Micah put me on this special project to help build the groundwork for the newest Domi imitative in an international innovation hub crawl.And I even have the opportunity to join in on the trip to Europe this summer!
Commitment is another life skill. Domi does not end this week for me. I want to stick around this summer and help to continue developing this global trip.Let’s hope they take me even if I’m not paying for it anymore.
I’d say though, through these skills, the most important thing is that relationships are fostered. Skills on a resume are important and so are first impressions. But what really sticks, and what really helps in the real world is networking. I only got here because of my relationship with Bruce Manciagli, one of the best teachers I’ve had. He invested and took the time to listen to my goals for this semester. He believed in me and pulled strings to have two interns here at Domi. Relationships help enjoying coming to work as well.
I am pretty sure ping pong is also a life skill.
We’ve been very busy organizing for a number of events! Our first Upcycle in Uptown event wasn’t as packed as we had hoped but we did use the opportunity to beta our procedure for the upcoming events. For our upcoming Upcycle events we will be remaking the posters to include more vibrant colors and using social media to reach a larger audience! I’m currently working on how it is that we could make this event a sustainable one without having to use someone as a mediator. Perhaps making prepackaged crafting kits for sale could eliminate the Tree’s responsibility to facilitate and instruct these events would make the event more manageable. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Carly a lot more and her passion continues to inspire me. I’ve helped at birthday events and workshops that have been hosted at the Tree. We’ve also got some off site events that I’ll be helping out with as well. I’m also continuously amazed with how busy and engaged the Tree is with this community. As students, most of the time we stay within the parallel lines of Tennessee Street and Pensacola but getting to interact with locals has helped me gain a whole new perspective about this town!
We’ve established a set work plan and working schedule for my participation at The Tree and I’m so excited! Things happen at a very fast pace here. I still can’t believe that Carly is behind it all. She’s got her hands in every layer of the organization and still manages to have a personal life. She has an amazing group of volunteers that help with the daily tasks and the amount of loyal visitors we get is inspiring. The Tree is actually involved with a lot of community events and organizes many of them that I’m just now learning about. My main project will be the creation and management of Up cycle in Uptown. The workshop series is inspired off “Painting with a Twist” in order to generate some profit. This series of workshops will take place on the last Thursdays of the month and are targeting an older crowd. It will inspire guests to make art out of recycled materials and promote innovative and creative ways to reuse. Carly loved this idea and her support has been phenomenal considering how busy she is. I’m still learning how to navigate my time wisely in order to use my energy while at The Tree the most efficiently. There’s always something to be done. Our first workshop is scheduled for the 25th of February! You ought to consider coming by!