Coffee class delivers at River City High

YELENA PUSKIN (right) with members of the River City Coffee Company (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER – SEPT 7, 2011 –

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A high school teacher may work long hours for unappreciative students. And he or she may not get the best pay in the world.

But, at least at River City High School in West Sacramento, a teacher can get one rather nice perk that many of the rest of us might envy: good coffee, delivered to their room, on demand in the morning.


  The java comes courtesy of the River City Coffee Company – a class which provides work skills to a number of students. The youths take orders from teachers and staff by phone, brew up the coffee orders, and then deliver it around campus by foot. Their adult supervisors include Yelena Piskun, who helps make sure the orders are taken and filled properly.

“We make coffee and deliver it,” reports a student named Javier. “We also have lattes, hot chocolate and orange tea. We’re about to start doing smoothies.”

Student Kevin on his way with a delivery

Students Beth, Kevin and Shannon said the practice gives them workplace experience.

The coffee beans come from Peet’s, and a cup of coffee bought by a reporter was just $1 and very tasty.

The orders were coming in slowly when the News-Ledger visited the class last week (the class might be busier if it accepted coffee orders from students, but that is forbidden). Soon, though, the phone rang and student Shannon took an order. Before a teammate started working on the order, some confusion surfaced about whether it was for a latte or something else – and Yelena Piskun helped the students straighten the order out by calling the customer back. Within a couple of minutes Kevin was on his way with the brew to a different building on campus.

ABOVE: Spanish teacher Tessa Hernandez with a fresh cup

Spanish teacher Tessa Hernandez got her steamy cup of the good stuff.

Another happy customer.

What happens to the income from coffee sales?

“It goes back to equipment and supplies, said Piskun. “Anything we made last year went back to pay for supplies.”


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