Archive | February, 2013

We love our customers!

23 Feb



The cold and flu season has been brutal this year and for the last two weeks it seems like at least one person was out every day.  Finally, this past Friday, everyone was feeling better and back to school, so we took the opportunity to finally take a group picture.   These 10 students have worked really hard this year learning brand new concepts and skills. Their hard work has made the Swanky Swine a great success.


One of our favorite things is getting to interact with all of the school’s students when they shop at the store.  While it wasn’t our primary goal, The Swanky Swine has given all of Woodlawn’s students the chance to practice their money math skills.  The employees often help the elementary students to figure out how much money they have to spend and what they can buy.  Our customers love the independence of picking out and paying for their own purchases.



The store is very popular with the students. They are constantly asking when we will be open or if we have any new items this week. Parents have even told us that their children will wake up in the morning and say “It’s Swanky Swine day!!”  The employees are really proud of our popularity and are excited to serve their fellow students.

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This was our Wednesday crew before the shift started.  We had so many new items it was hard to fit them all on the cart! This week was one of the busiest in our short history but the employees handled it well.  They are starting to get more comfortable working and have really improved at serving our loyal customers.


February Employee of the Month

15 Feb

Every month we pick an employee of the month.  The employee of the month is someone who works hard and meets or exceeds our employee expectations. These expectations include:

  • following directions
  • having a positive attitude
  • practicing good customer service including making eye contact & smiling
  • wearing a uniform when scheduled to work
  • washing their hands before working and practicing proper food handling
  • increasing knowledge of prices & products
  • Making an effort to learn money math skills including adding purchases, making change and using a calculator

This month, Mike Towers, was our employee of the month.


Mike works really hard at the Swanky Swine. He has never missed a shift. He likes to be the cashier the most. He practices his money math skills all the time and is a great cashier!

Mike said, “What I like about the Swanky Swine is that the customers are so nice to me.  Also, without any help, I’m good at subtracting to find the change. I always smile at the customers when they walk in to the store. I learned how much everything costs and how much all the coins are worth.  I know how much one, two, three and four quarters are too.”

Great job Mike! We are really proud of you and your hard work!

Valentine’s Day!

15 Feb

Today was Valentine’s day and after two days of planning and baking we were ready to deliver our cookies.


This is only half of the cookies we made! We couldn’t even fit them all on the table.

As soon as we were ready to deliver the cookies it started to rain! We tried to go to the middle school building without getting too wet!


The kids were all excited to get their cookies grams. They loved that the cookies were in the shape of pigs and everyone thought they were delicious.   We received a ton of compliments. On the way back to our classroom, the employees kept saying, “I can’t believe they like our cookies! Everyone was so happy!”  They were all so proud that something they made brought joy to so many people.  The employees did everything from planning and budgeting to baking and packaging.  We were proud of them too.


Our delivery team was most excited when they were finally out of cookies and could go back and enjoy the day themselves.  I had to talk Mary out of keeping the pig ears on though!


Several students brought treats for the class and they really enjoyed celebrating.  They finished the day with music class which is one of their favorites.  It was a successful and profitable first Valentine’s Day at the Swanky Swine!

Baking Cookies

14 Feb

This week we are selling cookie grams for Valentines day.  For $1, students at the school could purchase a cookie gram from the Swanky Swine and we will deliver it to classes on Thursday.  We sold over 200 cookie grams! We couldn’t believe how popular our cookies were. It was exciting but we knew there was a lot of work to do.  On Monday and Tuesday, between tests and classes, we baked 33 dozen cookies.  It was quite a job!


The employees mixed the dough, rolled it out and cut out heart and pig shapes (of course!).  They iced and decorated all of the cookies by hand.  It was our first big job but we all learned a lot.


Everyone chipped in and did their part and we finally finished packaging all of the cookies this afternoon. We baked our hearts out (pun intended) and We can’t wait to deliver our “hogs & kisses” to the students tomorrow. We hope everyone enjoys them!


Friday February 9th

8 Feb

Today’s staff ready for a busy shift. It was Allison’s first day as a cashier and she did a great job! We had a lot of new items and Valentine’s decorations in honor of the upcoming holiday. Tuesday we will be baking cookies for our holiday cookie grams that we will deliver on Thursday.


A shift at the Swanky Swine

5 Feb

The Swanky Swine is Woodlawn Community Academy’s school store. We were established to help our students learn to make change. However, we hope that the change we make goes far beyond coins! We are open every week on Wednesdays and Fridays during lunch.  On the days we aren’t open,  the student employees of the Swanky Swine, practice adding purchases and making change, memorize prices, calculate inventory and profits,  learn what it takes to be a good employee, and study basic business terms.

This week, our employees made and decorated cupcakes to sell to our customers. They were strawberry and chocolate in honor of Valentines Day!


Here is what our drink table looks like when it’s all set up.  We always decorate with piggy banks since this is where our store name comes from.  The pink drink is our signature “Swanky Swill” that is very popular and one of our best sellers.


This week, 2 of our girls were in charge of set up and inventory.  After setting up the table and preparing the Swanky Swill and hot chocolate, the girls count up all of our items and record them on an inventory sheet.  When the sales shift is over, they will count the items again to see how much we sold.  They record the data and then all of our employees work together to calculate our sales, our costs and our profit.


This past Wednesday, all of our boys worked together on the sales shift.  Both the drink station and the food station have one cashier and one customer service rep.  The employees work independently greeting our customers, assisting them with their purchases and making change. They are even learning to make small talk! They do a great job.



After the sales shift is over, 2 of the students will count down the cash and calculate our sales.  Later, 2 other students will roll coins to take to the bank. This provides good practice in coin recognition and coin counting. All of the hands on practice is really helping develop strong money math skills!

Everyone works together to clean up and wash the dishes before the shift is officially over.


This is what a typical day looks like at the Swanky Swine. Our employees work really hard and do such a great job. We’re very proud of them!