When you first start at Amherst, you may find Schwemm’s Cafe difficult to say. However, as the year progresses the name will quickly fall off your lips. Whether as a late night snack, a great study break, a place to catch up with friends, to listen to awesome jazz music or to eat after partying, Schwemm’s has become apart of Amherst student lives. For this reason, we dedicated this Campus Celebrity to Schwemm’s, it’s workers and everything that makes it one of the safe havens on campus.
The snack bar carries the name of John B. Schwemm, Class of 1956. He graduated from th college magna cum laude as a Religion Major and went on to Michigan Law School where he became the associate editor of the Law Review. Before his death in 2011, he was the general counsel, president and chairman of the board for R.R. Donnelley & Sons. According to his Memorial written by two members of his class, he “frequently eschewed dinner and caught a snack later in the evening,” which makes Schwemm’s all the more fitting to bear his name.
As a former Schwemm’s employee, I can open you into a world of how the magic happens. Most employees work two or more shifts through out the week of about three hours in length. At these shifts, each employee is required to wear many hats. They work at the register, the grill, the milkshake station, the oven and the sandwich bar. Employees learn the ropes within their first day and continue to receive assistance from senior staff for the rest of their employment. While the job can be high stress and time consuming, it was one of the most fruitful experiences I had at Amherst College.
By mentioning the senior staff, I should emphasize how they care about the students. As a student employee, you are reminded constantly to take care of each and every customer. They take their jobs seriously, because they know we deserve a decent hot meal at 10 pm when our computer crashed and we lost our final paper. They also tell some of the best stories and give the greatest advice. Take the time to ask them their name and ask them about their day. Because chances are, they already have for you!
Jazz at Schwemm’s offers music with your meal made possible through the Jazz Program here at Amherst. This hit on campus allows for musicians to perform their skills and for others to listen in on Thursday Nights at 9. You should definitely take the time to come out if you can.
The Most Popular
To conclude our article, I would like to share an observation I made while working at Schwemm’s. On my shifts, by far the most popular items on the menu:
West Coast Turkey
Mozzarella Sticks (Mozz Sticks)