Campus Celebrity: Savannah Woolston

If you frequent the Lions Den, then you may already know one of their managers, senior political science major and theatre minor, Savannah Woolston, Students have been talking a lot about the addition of the Starbucks on campus, which is already heavily populated with coffee shops, with varying opinions. We thought we’d touch base with Savannah (who also owns her own coffee shop back home in Alaska) to get the low-down on how it affects the other coffee hot spots around LMU. You may even learn a thing or two you didn’t already know about the Den, like the fact that this week’s specialty drink is Girl Scout’s theme. If you haven’t stopped in yet, their hours are 7:30am until midnight, Monday through Friday, and 11am until midnight on the weekends.

 

How do you think the addition of Starbucks on campus affects the Den? Do you feel like we have too many coffee shops on campus?

“Every time I walk by the Starbucks, they have super long lines and I’m like OH NO WHY ARE YOU ALL HERE PLEASE COME TO THE DEN, but I actually don’t think it’s really affecting the Den negatively. I think students are happy to have options, but still love the Lion’s Den for its friendly atmosphere, the fact that the employees are students and familiar faces who remember our customers, and the variety of music we play. We also seriously appreciate the students still supporting the more “local” feel of the Den even as LMU gains more coffee options on campus.” 

Why did you want to be manager?

“Being a student manager is such a unique opportunity. I have loved working at the Den for the past 3 years, and being manager is a great way to give back to the Den community. I get to help with teaching the newer employees how to be great baristas, and having a positive influence on the atmosphere of the Den—both the experience of the employees and the customers. Also, the leadership experience that comes from managing a staff of over 50 peers is really rewarding. I’m learning a lot about myself and how I can help people excel.”

“I also manage a coffee cart at home in Alaska where we serve tourists at the railroad depot coffee before they board the train. Through that I’ve gotten to meet people from all over the world and hear their stories about what brings them to Alaska. You might think ‘it’s just coffee,’ but I think it’s an important way to connect with people and help them start their day right, with coffee and a smile.”

What’s your favorite drink at the den?

“My go-to is an iced coffee or Americano, but if I’m in need of something sugary I’ll make something out there like a blueberry green tea freeze. Sounds weird, but it’s so good!”

What’s your favorite thing about working at the den?

“Two things—the Lion’s Den has been the place I call home on campus the longest. Some of my first friends in college came from working at the Den because it’s such a great family of students from all grades, interests, other campus activities, and backgrounds. Additionally, it’s awesome to serve your peers, especially because people literally need coffee to survive in college. Customer service in itself is a great learning experience, and being able to have a quick ‘How’s your day? What can I do for you?’ conversation with other students on campus is pretty cool. I feel more connected to the student body through working at the Den.”

What’s the culture like among employees?

“So great! The Den has such a team culture where everyone works to pull their weight because they care about both the success of the Den, and the happiness of their fellow employees. Being a student worker can be difficult with all the other things going on in a college student’s life, so it’s nice to have a supportive community like the Den where we have a flexible work schedule and create strong friendships.”

What’s it like to be a student worker on campus?

“Being a student worker is a really great way to prepare yourself for jobs after college. If you can manage it on top of other responsibilities, having a job in college can teach work ethic and time management in a different way than the classroom. Also, getting a paycheck is super cool.”

What are 3 things people don’t know about the Lion’s Den?

“The Lion’s Den is the only entirely student-run coffee shop on campus, we only serve fair trade coffee, and we have a new drink of the week each week! This week it’s the Samoa Freeze—mocha, caramel, and coconut.”