In the early summer of 2022, Taylor’s local coffee shop The Jumping Bean found itself falling under new management: Parkhurst Dining.
David Manz, general manager of dining at Taylor University, has worked for Parkhurst Dining for 22 years.
Manz has served Parkhurst by being a district manager, overseeing multiple colleges. He has also been a resident district manager, overseeing the company’s largest location, Duquesne University. He jumped on the opportunity to work here when the bid for Taylor dining was announced.
During the conversations about the bid for Taylor dining, Taylor University asked the Manganello family, previous owners of The Jumping Bean, if they would be open to Parkhurst assuming ownership of the coffee shop. After some discussion, the family agreed to the university's proposition.
“We took over their operations that they had run as a fairly small business, very seamlessly with a very positive vibe,” Manz said. “The previous owners were ready to give up the responsibility of running it, and we saw it as a privilege to take it over.”
When asked to make a comment about the change in ownership of The Jumping Bean, former owner Tony Manganello declined to comment. Nevertheless, Manz assures the Taylor community that The Jumping Bean is in good hands.
“We’re excited to be here on campus,” Manz said. “We are still in the learning process of understanding the campus community and what the needs are.”
Although there are very few changes to the menu, many students can still notice differences.
Thane Syswerda is a sophomore at Taylor and a barista at The Jumping Bean. The main difference he has noticed is that The Jumping Bean no longer uses real peanut butter, but instead substitutes peanut butter puree.
Syswerda started his employment at The Jumping Bean this past summer. He was hired by the Manganello family, but trained by Parkhurst Dining staff.
“The [Manganello family] was super friendly and wanted to make sure that communication was number one,” Syswerda said.
But almost immediately after being hired, Syswerda received an email from his employers, the Manganello family, saying that the ownership had been transferred to Parkhurst.
Syswerda showed up on his first day, excited for his job at The Jumping Bean. He was surprised when supervisors put him in a Chick-fil-a uniform. After explaining the mix up, Syswerda was reassigned to The Jumping Bean. However, the situation highlighted differences in management.
“I’d say sometimes there can be a little bit of a lack of communication,” Syswerda said. “But, I think they’re getting the hang of it extremely well.”
Syswerda’s main appreciation for his job comes from the opportunity to connect with the people he is serving. Although he doesn’t like the taste of coffee, he loves the community and can always make time for a conversation.
“I realized that when I was talking to people, they just loved having conversations,” Syswerda said.
The same thing can be said for Shelby Sullivan, the supervisor at The Jumping Bean. Her joy comes from the conversations with patrons as she serves them.
“My biggest thing is customer connections and learning everybody’s names and their drinks,” Sullivan said. “That can change a whole person’s day.”
One of the top priorities to Sullivan and the rest of The Jumping Bean staff is consistency and quality: both of which start with cleaning.
“I walked into the espresso machine being pretty rough, so I made sure to clean it to the best of my ability,” Sullivan said. “It looks like we’re still going to have to order a new one.”
In addition to the espresso machine, Parkhurst has fixed the water quality by replacing three water filters and cleaning everything in The Jumping Bean from top to bottom. Now, Sullivan is training new employees extra hard to ensure the cleaning remains up to her standards.
In addition to the new cleaning standards and many new additions to staff at The Jumping Bean, students can now use their meal swipes or dining dollars.
Although the coffee shop has changed hands, Parkhurst is going to great lengths to make sure The Jumping Bean is still an enjoyable place to grab a coffee from. In an effort to receive comments about The Jumping Bean, there are posters with QR codes that welcome feedback and suggestions from both students and staff.