Lindsay Ravetz ’25 and Belen Yudess ’25
Since last semester, there have been whispers surrounding The Motley’s much-anticipated reopening. The cafe’s doors have been closed since 2020, so reopening is in itself a daunting challenge. With managers to hire, connections to reestablish, and products to research, The Motley to-do list is jam-packed. Thankfully, the cafe that you wish was feeding your coffee addiction is in good hands.
During the fall semester, dedicated former baristas Uma Nagarajan-Swenson ’22, Julia Thomason ’22, and Diya Pereira ’22 worked hard to lay down the foundation for The Motley’s return to campus, much to the appreciation of the Scripps community. The torch has now been passed to two charismatic and Motley-fanatic Co-Head Managers, Madeline (Maddie) Moore ’22 and Camila Mejia ‘22, who are putting their all into continuing the work of their peers.
“When I was a first-year, I didn’t ever imagine being in this spot,” said Moore. “And I couldn’t imagine a better person to be working with. Camila has been fabulous and we’re definitely up to the task.”
Unlike most previous head managers at The Motley, Moore and Mejia did not have experienced managers to train new employees and pass down their expertise. “Often in the past, there’s a whole string of managers who train the next set of managers to get everything ready,” said Mejia. However, as of now, Moore and Mejia are just a team of two. “We’ve kind of been having to start from the ground up and Camila and I both were never managers,” said Moore.
Although Moore and Mejia were a part of The Motley family before the shutdown and understand the basic inner workings of the coffeehouse, going from barista to co-head manager is no easy feat. The duo has had to quickly learn how to reestablish both manager and barista hiring and training, order products, budget, and efficiently communicate with the administration.
The first and most pressing task on The Motley’s growing to-do list is to hire managers.
“We’re just in our manager hiring and then all the managers have to get trained and then we can start with baristas and they have to get trained and we have to implement a COVID training,” said Mejia. “[We have] to start from the ground up, having a complete gap of almost two years of knowledge. That’s where our new managers are going to mostly be starting from as well.”
Moore shares Mejia’s sentiments, saying, “There’s just so much work in front of us and we have to open a whole business … it’s scary … I’m not a business major.”
Though Moore and Mejia are carrying a heavy workload, Motley alumni are also assisting in any way they can. “What is amazing about this is that even though it’s a daunting task, Camila and I have never once felt alone. We feel so loved and appreciated and that has definitely made this really gratifying,” said Moore.
“We’ve also reached out to some really amazing alums that have been helping us who have been managers before, so that’s been super supportive,” said Mejia.
With the graduation of one of the last classes to experience the life and culture of The Motley quickly approaching, Moore and Mejia are focused on passing down The Motley’s legacy. “Our biggest priority, point-blank, for the whole semester, is to preserve the knowledge and the space that is The Motley,” said Moore, “The Motley is completely student-run, and so it’s the students’ knowledge that allows it to continue … That’s what we’re really trying to achieve this semester, and if that looks like having The Motley open for a month so that all of us can work our final barista shifts then that would be amazing.”
It is unclear when you will get to order a cup of coffee or hot chocolate decorated with Moore’s signature animal doodles, but the Motley team is doing all they can to ensure that the coffeehouse’s classic culture remains intact — with a few new additions, such as delightfully pink chocolate bars.
As we await this special day, students can keep up to date with Motley news through their Instagram page, @motleycoffee, and look out for additional information via on-campus flyers and SAS emails.
As the Co-Head Managers, Moore and Mejia have a message for the Scripps community. “We love you all and are trying our best,” said Moore. Mejia also shared her own affirmation. “We are doing this all for you.”
Image Source: Ellen Hu ’24