Back to School!

Cocoa Bean will sorely miss them, but we are so proud of four of our staff members who are heading off to college this Fall! 

Meet Fionnuala Cottrell – a recent graduate of Geneva High School and valued employee here at Cocoa Bean for the past two and a half years!  Fionnuala has learned a lot during her days here, most important to have patience and understanding for every customer.  “I’ve learned that everyone is deserving of respectful service and a kind smile,” she said.    Fionnuala is not only leaving for college this fall – she’s also leaving the country.  She’s headed to Durham University in Northern England to study law, so we won’t even get to see her over the holidays.  Fionnuala will miss all our regular customers that knew her by name, but will miss the chocolate crème brulee tarts the most!

Lucy Mikus has been with us for the past one and a half years and is excited to head off to Michigan State University and major in biochemistry.  She will surely be popular at school when she can show off the barista skills that she gained at Cocoa Bean.  Lucy looks forward to visiting us over the holidays so she can get her favorite treat – morning buns!  Lucy will also miss the good conversations she has had here with our wonderful customers! 

Amy Iwatsuki has only been with us for this past summer, but she has been a customer her whole life – ever since we opened!  She is currently a Junior at Loyola University in Chicago and is studying finance and classical civilization.  Amy, too, is a very competent barista now after making fun and fancy coffee drinks these past few months!  Her absolute favorite item at Cocoa Bean is the Isabella cake – she gets it EVERY year for her birthday!  Amy will be back here over the holidays, because, as she says, “I need all the money for Ramen noodles I can get!”

Finally, there’s Nora Theeke, daughter of Cocoa Bean’s own Inga Theeke. Nora will be a freshman at Emory University studying biology on a pre-med track.  She spent this summer baking in the kitchen with Paul learning, among other things, the intricate process of making croissants.  She is hoping for lots of care packages from her mom this year, specifically her favorite item – almond croissants!  We can’t wait to see her smiley face again at Christmas Break!

“Every year we have to let our kids get back to their academic pursuits and every year we are saddened to see them go,” commented Chef Paul.   “They have been great assets here at Cocoa Bean so we have high hopes for them in whatever endeavors they pursue.  Good luck!”


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