SIFE project attracts students, community


by Shara Tibken

Simpson College’s SIFE opened its major project, The StormCellar, on April 2.

The Storm Cellar opening was a quiet event. The Storm Cellaropened for business for the first time at 4 p.m. on Friday andclosed at 10 p.m.

“We had a soft opening on Friday and were also open on Saturdaywhere people could sample our pizza,” said junior Jackie Harms.

The members of SIFE decided to hold a soft opening onFriday.

“By soft opening, we didn’t advertise it,” said Tom Schmidt,assistant professor of management and head of the department ofaccounting, economics, management and marketing. “We’re not goingto put up an open sign. We’re just going to open our door and seewhat happens.”

The opening on Friday went well, according to senior JessicaFagen.

“We didn’t advertise for Friday, so it was kind of our trial,”said Fagen. “It went really smoothly. We had just a few people, butit was a good trial run for the people working and how everythingwill go.”

The Storm Cellar was also open on April 3 for its second day ofbusiness. It was a little busier on Saturday than on Friday,according to Fagen.

“We opened at 10 a.m., and from about 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., wehad constant business.” said Fagen. “It was pretty full most of thetime, and things seemed to run very smoothly. We were very happywith how the day went.”

Fagen estimates that approximately 50 people went to The StormCellar in the first few hours of business on Saturday.

The Storm Cellar provided free pizza to patrons on Saturday.

The Storm Cellar had planned to be open the previous weekend,but due to permits, it was unable to open at that time.

“We didn’t open sooner than this because we were in the processof getting all of our permits, and without those we could notopen,” said Harms.

“We had set a date, and we didn’t hit it,” said Schmidt.”Basically what happened last week was that we had some permitsthat we weren’t able to get. We needed a grease-trap in order toget our occupancy permit.”

The restaurant does not use grease when cooking because itprovides items such as pizza, so the members of SIFE were unawarethat they needed the grease-trap.

Indianola required them to install a grease-trap beforereceiving the permit though, so the grease-trap was quicklyacquired and installed.

Following opening weekend, The Storm Cellar will now be open tothe public for its regular hours.

Members of SIFE plan to hold a publicized opening at a laterdate.

“We are planning a celebratory opening, but the date has notbeen decided,” said Harms.

The Storm Cellar’s hours will be Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 10p.m., Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 11a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We plan to be closed Monday and Tuesday every week whileSimpson is in session,” said Schmidt.

The Storm Cellar will be open to the public, not just Simpsonstudents, but some rules will be in place to avoid disturbances byunderage community members.

“It will be open to anybody,” said Schmidt. “Our target marketwill be Simpson students…After 10 p.m. you have to be over18.”

The Storm Cellar is currently looking for employees to work atthe restaurant.

“Right now, we have 24 students involved in SIFE,” said Schmidt.”They are all actively working at The Storm Cellar, but currently,they are not being paid for it.”

Other Simpson students have expressed interest in working at TheStorm Cellar though, and those positions would be paid minimumwage.

“We’ll hire not only Simpson students, but we’ll hire peoplethat are not Simpson students as well if need be,” said Schmidt.”Preference is going to go to Simpson students first.”

SIFE members have already started searching for students to workat The Storm Cellar.