The Swift Blend Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and on Tuesday from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
The café is located in the foyer of the Joseph F. Smith Building.
Fourteen students comprise the Swift Blend team. The group spent a few weeks deciding on a business strategy before opening on Jan. 30.
“We grew together through all the pain and trials,” said Elijah Bonner, Swift Café employee. “We had a company retreat at the beginning of the semester and froze together in the snow for 12 hours, two days in a row. We got a lot closer then. Everyone’s super close together and there hasn’t been any drama.”
Not only have the members of the group grown together personally, but they have developed professionally.
“It’s a learning experience for sure,” CEO Davis Swift said. “It’s been super busy, but … we’ve got a really good company. We have a lot of people that work really hard. That first week and a half was a lot of work, but … we’ve gotten way more organized and things have run smoother because now everyone knows their role.”
While the company ultimately settled on hot chocolate, there were other choices on the table including dumplings and corndog waffles. They settled on hot chocolate for a few specific reasons.
“We definitely chose it because we were all cold,” Swift said. “We had three different ideas and discussed the pros and cons and then we all voted. We decided that of the three ideas (hot chocolate) was the best. A lot of that decision was financial, how complicated it is to make it, and if there is going to be a demand for it.”
Chief Financial Officer Seth Laub agreed with his CEO.
“We decided that the hot chocolate would be the most effective, mainly (for) the convenience and price,” Laub said. “The hot chocolate was cheaper. I’m not buying things that are over five dollars on campus, and most other students won’t. That was our reasoning.”
While the product sold is hot chocolate, Swift Blend has other goals.
“It’s more than a Styrofoam cup with water and a packet,” Swift said. “We’re trying to sell the experience of a café, with fancier, higher quality drinks. It’s more about being that warm, inviting café atmosphere.”
The decorations and lights contribute to the overall café theme.
“We’re thinking maybe in the future of putting centerpieces on these tables and tablecloths to maybe lean a little bit harder into that,” Bonner said.
The list of products and flavors may be expanding in the coming weeks.
The company might not have been able to choose its location, but they are glad to be where they are.
“It’s really nice because it’s really cold, so it’s easy for me to be like ‘hey, come on in,'” Bonner said. “A lot of people notice it … so it’s actually a super good location.”
At first, the company had settled on the name Deja Brew, but that name was vetoed for legal reasons. Their second name, Rexpresso, was also shut down because it sounded too much like a coffee brand, according to company CEO Swift. They were told of the vetoes mere days before they were scheduled to open, but the company switched gears and settled on Swift Blend.
“We were able to open on time, but just with a lot less advertising,” Laub said. “Our marketing team really did a lot those first couple weeks.”
This sudden change not only affected the corporate heads but the entirety of the company.
“It was a little bit stressful to get started,” Bonner said. “Literally the day we should’ve opened was the day we had to come up with a name and redesign a logo.”
The name Swift Blend was purposefully derived from the name of their CEO.
“My team … wanted to name it that,” Swift said. “I would’ve preferred not to. It is a cool name but I feel a little weird about it.”
The combination of product, timing and location has been a successful mix so far for Swift Blend. However, they’re keeping their expectations realistic.