The students in the "Design I" art class at HopeCollege are pursuing a bonus goal as they work on their final projects: an opportunity to see their work on the menu at Lemonjello's Coffee in Holland.
As a start-to-finish project, each student in the course's three sections has been challenged to develop a new drink for the downtown shop, located at 61 E. Ninth St.--along with a logo, promotional poster, recipe card and other support materials. One of the resulting 40 beverages will become a part of the Lemonjello's menu for the remainder of the school year, December through May.
The course's instructor, Stephanie Milanowski, noted that the unusual assignment has a serious purpose. As design professionals, she said, the students might find themselves asked to take on a wide variety of projects, developing them from concept through presentation and implementation.
While only one drink will make the final cut, Milanowski has enjoyed the variety that she's seen as the students have done their work. Lemonjello's owner Matt Scott, she noted, set only two limitations before the students began brainstorming: no alcohol, and no blow torches involved in the preparation.
"We have a whole bunch of very creative drinks that the students have created. We have a hot chocolate fondue, and a pop rock drink," she said. "There are 40-plus really different drink concepts."
From the 40 hopefuls, a panel of five judges is choosing nine finalists, three from each class section, to make presentations to Scott on Friday, Dec. 11.
However the final selection turns out, Milanowski noted that she's appreciated both the chance to involve the class in the community and the spirit in which the students have done their work while seeking the ultimate prize of having their creation become part of the Lemonjello's menu.
"It's a neat collaboration between students and Lemonjello's," she said. "And it's not a competition - the students are helping each other."