Sunday marked the return of a missing presence on campus — Java Junction is now open for its 20th year on campus. 

Java Junction is not just the campus coffee shop, but also the business department’s hands-on learning project that aims to give students tangible management experience. 

Despite rotating workers, one constant has been Michelle Horning, professor of accounting. She has served as the faculty advisor and has taught the Java Junction Operations course for 20 years. She started the project with a few students after Student Life expressed the desire for a coffee shop on campus. 

Through the years, over 200 students have been involved. Currently, the marketing and operations team manager is Matias Martins da Fonseca, a fifth-year business major. Carlos Nunez Soto, a senior business major, is the inventory and employee team manager. 

Martins da Fonseca and Nunez Soto each coordinate teams of student leaders, controlling all decisions from menu items to hours and pricing.

Everyone employed is a student, and student leadership also takes part in regular shifts to learn the everyday functions of a coffee shop. 

According to Martins da Fonseca, “one of the biggest highlights of working at Java is getting to see all the faces at school stopping by and getting the chance to talk to them.” 

Nunez echoes this sentiment: “I really enjoy working with everyone in the Java family. That’s why I’ve done it for the past 3 semesters.” 

Horning encourages students to problem-solve and wants them to make mistakes so that they can learn how to recover. 

“My goal is to not really do any of the work,” said Horning. Her job is simply to make sure “they don’t do anything illegal or violate the health code.” 

The class requires the first couple of weeks of the semester to prepare: “We had to make sure we had all the inventory and personnel available before opening,” said Martins da Fonseca. “Then we started working on advertising it and getting the space cleaned up and ready for opening.” 

Nunez pointed out changes in prices for certain menu items this semester: “As we all know, the economy has been suffering; therefore, we encountered many supply issues. Unfortunately, we also have had to raise the prices for some items.”

Java’s hours of operation are located on their section of the Goshen College website and their Facebook and Instagram profiles are updated regularly. As they open, their hours may be irregular, but the hours will remain fixed as the semester goes on.