Stag Café Shakes Up the Menu

Controversy surrounded the opening of the Stag Café for the 2022-23 school year on Thursday, November 10.
Students hoping for a frosty vanilla milkshake — a longtime staple of the Stag Café menu — were met with disappointment. The chocolate and strawberry milkshakes were back on the bill of fare, but the vanilla milkshake was nowhere to be found. Shockingly, it had been replaced by a strawberry-banana smoothie — delicious, no doubt, but not a vanilla milkshake.
The contentious situation was a learning experience for the senior Entrepreneurship students who are running the Stag Café. While the students are free to set the menu, there is still an element of honouring the past, as Entrepreneurship teacher Ms. Mariel Solsberg puts it. Some breaks from tradition don’t go over well with the customers.
The Stag Café is entirely student run, from creating the menu to setting a laundry schedule to making the food. Before the café opened this year, students had to determine the roles and structure of the staff and apply for jobs. They were interviewed by a panel of four staff members, who assigned the positions. Because the Stag Café is a licensed kitchen, all employees need to go through Foodsafe training.
Mr. Gary Dukelow, who oversaw the Stag Café for years, had the philosophy that it is an honour to serve your fellow students. Ms. Solsberg carries on with that concept, and also feels it is important for students to learn from their mistakes, which sometimes requires her to step back and allow them to make mistakes that she can see coming. When she fields questions from students, she tries to reframe them as a problem-solving opportunity.
While she acknowledges her bias, Ms. Solsberg calls the Stag Café “one of the most worthwhile programs on campus.”
The Stag Café doesn’t make up the entirety of the Entrepreneurship 12 curriculum, but it is a large part of it.
“It’s a vehicle to practice a lot of the stuff they focus on in class,” Ms. Solsberg explains.
The Stag Café menu includes favourites like burgers, chicken strips, fries, and onion rings, with several items and combos named for staff members. Seasonal features will come and go, like a holiday milkshake set to arrive in early December.
Speaking of milkshakes, the vanilla milkshake did make a rapid return to the Stag Café menu on Tuesday evening. The creamy treat’s return was announced on the @shawniganstag Instagram earlier that day.
Located in the Friesen Centre, the Stag Café is open Tuesday and Friday from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.