The Bear Naked Beanery: An experience in small business operations
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My experiential senior individualized project is based on my work experience in family owned startup and enterprise called the Bear Naked Beanery as well as running the store from the perspective of an employee. I have developed schemes for human development and social relations within the context of small business operations. My objective in doing this senior individualized project is to document the practical business experience I learned during my endeavor with the Bear Naked Beanery. Over the past four years, I have realized that the business field interests me more and that I enjoy learning about business. At K it is rather difficult to get a full understanding of the business world because the limited courses offered in business. After finishing the requirements for my economics and business major, I decided that I did not have enough business in my learning career. The best way for me to fulfill my desire to learn and grow in the business field was an experiential senior individualized project. For some time, I have toyed with the idea of owning my own business, so working with a business from stage one, as an idea, through its opening and existence, allowed me to envision first hand what it is truly like to be self employed. The Bear Naked Beanery is owned and operated by my parents. The store opened its doors to the public on May 5th, 2007. In addition to my parents working the store, there are two full time and three part-time employees. The Bear Naked Beanery is located in the main shopping district of Benton Harbor, Michigan, near the Secretary of State and right next to Wings, Etc. We have a two year lease agreement for our 1600 square feet building. The description on our website shares "We are a comfortable little coffee house that has evolved out of a love of food, baking and the company of others. As you would expect we serve coffee, specialty drinks and fresh homemade food with a focus on locally grown products. Here at the Bear, we focus on you. We have a large oak table which is perfect for your lunch group. Wireless internet is provided for those who want to get some work done away from the office or simply just can't seem to stay off line. For those of you in a hurry, be sure to use our drive through window for extra speedy service. After a long day of shopping you can come in and relax by the player piano with some gelato or one of our signature desserts." We serve coffee, espresso, smoothies, frappes, tea, chai, a full lunch menu including soup, salads, wraps, and hot Panini sandwiches, and an array of homemade desserts and pastries. The comfortable and relaxing ambiance is created by the player piano, oak tables and chairs, the pine paneling and earth tones.