Hired Without a Storefront
Hilltoss employees start at Corp on unusual note
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 02:01
In this semester’s round of hiring for Students of Georgetown Inc., a group of students were chosen to join a Corp location that does not exist yet: Hilltoss.
Hilltoss, a salad and smoothie shop slated to open within the Healey Family Student Center next fall, will be The Corp’s first new location since Hoya Snaxa and Midnight MUG in 2003.
“The Corp wasn’t really looking to expand because we sort of cover a lot of the space on campus already, but when there was going to be a new space developed, it made a lot of sense,” Corp CEO Lizzy MacGill (COL ’14) said.
Hilltoss Director Ellen Wilcox (COL ’14), who previously worked at Vital Vittles, said that the opening of the salad and smoothie shop would be impossible outside of the HFSC.
“There’s not much room on campus, so unless we wanted to operate out of a closet, I’m not sure where else we would have gone,” Wilcox said.
While their fellow new hires are working three shifts per week at Vital Vittles and More Uncommon Grounds, Hilltoss employees will be part of the store development process. This semester will consist mainly of training, which Hilltoss employees, who must each obtain a food handling license, will require more of than those at other Corp storefronts.
The increased need for training and personnel prompted The Corp to hire a large number of students this semester, before the service opens.
“It’s an operation we haven’t tried before, and it’s going to require a lot more personnel than any of our other services. And for a Corp service to hire a large number of people is very hard in terms of training; we are all full-time students,” Wilcox said.
The service hired 14 employees this month, more than any other Corp service. New Hilltoss employees declined to comment for this article, citing instructions from Corp leadership.
Hilltoss employees will table at the Georgetown University Farmers Market when it returns this spring, previewing eventual offerings by operating a station with salads, side items and drinks.
“To be able to have healthy and affordable food is an interesting mix and it is something we are committed to — bringing quality ingredients to students, but all the while remembering that we are students and we can’t always pay high prices for food,” Wilcox said. Meanwhile, The Corp is struggling with the problems associated with opening a new location.
“We are full time students here … and none of us have a background in any of this. So I think that is probably the biggest challenge at this point — navigating that process of the build-out itself,” MacGill said.
However, the challenge of creating a new storefront will prove rewarding for Corp employees.
“For us to take on a very serious, time-intensive, expensive project is actually terrifying, but also exciting,” MacGill said. “It’s just basically using the store as a new embodiment of Corp values: students serving students,” MacGill said.