A graduate assistant and four student interns will launch a new version of Sora Luna Lounge this fall, running the Flynn Hall location as a weekend café.
While the exact details of the café are still fluid, preliminary plans call for Sora Luna to be open three nights a week – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – with a sprinkling of entertainment and special events like open mic night, short student performance sets, karaoke, and movie nights. Menu items under consideration include chicken tenders, waffle tacos, and wraps.
Dr. Debbi Bromley, the Abessinio Endowed Chair for Management and Entrepreneurship, started full-time at the beginning of the spring 2022 semester and is now the academic resource/faculty advisor for the Sora Luna team. Before coming on board in January, Bromley had served as an adjunct professor since 2019, teaching courses such as Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, and Compensation and Benefits.
She was hired to create an entrepreneurship minor, coordinate Sora Luna Lounge, and supervise the annual Rocco A. ’79 and Mary F. Abessinio Lecture in Entrepreneurship and Management. Although Bromley’s background is mainly in the corporate world, she has entrepreneurial experience, running a small business in Media in partnership with her husband and another Neumann professor.
During the spring semester, Bromley guided a Sora Luna graduate assistant and interns (Winette Josma, Tayquan Sadler, Nick Shortlidge, and Te'Rah Thomas) in creating a business plan for the café.
“Since I had the opportunity to be a part of the creation of Sora Luna, alongside the 2018-19 members of Resident Hall Council, being a part of the intern group to launch the eatery was exciting,” says Josma. It was “like watching your child grow up.”
Thomas agrees. “The Sora Luna experience was amazing. The thing I loved best was learning how to handle a business first-hand and the teamwork we all put in,” she recalls. Even during the planning process, “In the café business, you’re all a team, no matter what. You help each other out, always have each other’s backs, and all live the experience and atmosphere of the café.”
That kind of experience is exactly what Bromley has in mind. “Their role as interns is to learn how to manage a business and manage individuals in a business, helping each other learn in real time. Trial and error is the best way to learn about yourself and the world around you,” she says.
“Our interns will create an audience survey and let the students define what they like. We want to meet as many needs as we can and engage the students in making Sora Luna a popular social hangout,” says Bromley.
She hopes that faculty and staff will also frequent the café. “It’s open to everybody,” she notes, “just one more small way to build connection points with students.”