Two Wharton freshmen started an in-room service offering Hill residents bacon, eggs and toast. Every weekday morning, Adam Chewning and Andrew Nimmer are busy cracking eggs and frying bacon while most Penn students are still sprawled in their beds. They're too busy to make breakfast for themselves, however. So instead, the two Wharton freshmen spend their mornings working on a fledgling business enterprise that's more a labor of love than a get-rich-quick scheme, a benevolent project that brings food to other freshmen -- and some local popularity to them in return. In fact, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Chewning and Nimmer bring both warm and cold breakfasts to the doors of their fellow Hill College House residents. Named "Breakfast Smiles," the service began on January 31. Chewning and Nimmer already have 14 meal contracts, all from their neighbors in Hill. "It's always a good option to have," said loyal client Yeun Tong Yeung, a College freshman. "There are sometimes you just can't make it to the dining hall, so it's nice when they come to deliver you a meal." "I never ate breakfast before the service. It's convenient because I get a meal before the day starts," said Wharton freshman Justin Nomi, another one of the clients. The two students met in Homestead High School in Wisconsin. Even after Chewning, known affectionately as "Chewy" to his friends, moved to Virginia, the two maintained their friendship. Coincidentally, they both came to Penn and wound up living in the same college house. Chewning and Nimmer were inspired to start their breakfast service after they noticed how inconvenient it can be to wake up early enough to trek to the dining hall -- even in Hill, which has one right downstairs. "We were both sitting in the Hill cafeteria one day and we thought of how great breakfast in bed would be," Nimmer explained. But cooking -- which is, after all, what their business revolves around -- was not as easy as it sounded, as the two quickly discovered. Though both could cook a complete meal before they started their service, they needed to learn how to whip up some of the traditional breakfast foods with which they were less than familiar. "The first day, when we only had one or two customers, I was stuck cooking eggs and I didn't really know -- it was [a] struggle and a guessing experiment," Nimmer said. "I learned very quickly how to make eggs. Likewise, Adam learned to cook foods that he didn't know how to. Now, we both can do it all whenever we need to," he added. At first, the service started with just cold meals from food bought from grocery and convenience stores like Brown's Thriftway and Wawa. They started by advertising their service through fliers and by wearing T-shirts with the service's name and operating their own Web site on the Internet: www.geocities.com/BreakfastSmiles. Hill College House Dean Amy Pollock helped the pair in starting their business by explaining the rules of promoting a business in the college house. "They have lots of energy and are really motivated. They are willing to hear what people want," Pollock said. "That's the way to make it work." The two student entrepreneurs said the time the service has required has not taken away from their academics. Sometimes Nimmer has to run the service while Chewning goes to his morning Spanish class. "Usually in between orders, they are sitting down and doing homework," explained Engineering freshman Joseph Brown, who lives on the same floor as Nimmer and Chewning and has also purchased a meal plan. "Adam stays up really late doing homework, just trying to get things done -- and he has fun at the same time," Nomi said. But don't think that getting breakfast served in bed comes without its cost. The three different meal plans range in price from $22.50 to $28.75, with five meals in each one. The cold meals consist of cereals, fruits and breads, while the warm meals consist of pancakes, bacon and eggs. A full description of the menu can be viewed on the Web site. Students who have paid for a meal plan in advance e-mail either Chewning or Nimmer their breakfast requests by the night before. The two freshmen have collected more than $250 in revenue -- with the goal of pulling in $1,000 by the end of the year -- in the past few weeks, Chewning explained. They have yet to make a real profit, though. Chewning and Nimmer's friends and acquaintances said they appreciate this new business and, without exception, describe the two as being hardworking. "I think really highly of them," Yeung said. "I think they've very respectful and easy to talk to." Nomi added, "They're great guys and they're really motivated." What the future holds for the breakfast-in-bed business is uncertain, however, since both students are currently pledging Delta Upsilon and expect to live in the house next year. Still, they fully expect to continue the service through the rest of this academic year. "The first reason we did it was for the learning experience," Nimmer said. "And we're still working on the learning curve," Chewning added.Comments powered by Disqus
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