Genesee Trustees Sample ‘Scholars' Apple Cider Syrup

CEO Club Highlights Product Plans
Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees heard members of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (“CEO Club”) describe their manufacturing and marketing plans for apple cider syrup on Monday evening – and then trustees had a chance to sample the new specialty food product created by Genesee Community College students. The unique product is based on a family recipe donated to the CEO Club by a friend of the College.

The CEO Club is a two-year-old student organization that fosters entrepreneurship. Last year, the Club set out to create the “SCHOLARS” brand – a product line comprised of unique specialty food items. Apple cider syrup is the first item in what will hopefully be a growing product line, according to Christina Bakos of Batavia, a Genesee student and SCHOLARS project spokesperson.

Apple cider syrup has a buttery, cider-like taste, and is suitable for use with both breakfast and dessert items. Ms. Bakos and students Tyler Moroz of Wyoming(CEO Club President), James Black of Batavia, (Vice President) , and Mitchell LaPierre of Bath, first-year club member, served a sample of the product over pancakes to trustees. “But it’s delicious over ice cream as well,” Ms. Bakos reminded trustees. The product uses locally grown food, Ms. Bakos noted.

The product, which retails for $9.99, just rolled off the Nelson Farms production line and will officially be launched at a special pancake breakfast in the Genesee Community College cafeteria November 18. Students are marketing the product to specialty retailers in the area, and hope to have it on store shelves before the holiday shopping season. It is already available at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore, located on Genesee’s Batavia Campus.

The development of the SCHOLARS brand is “experiential learning in action,” Assistant Professor of Business Barbara Shine told trustees. Students involved in the CEO Club, as well as students in marketing, accounting, business administration, graphic design, and web design classes all participated in activities that led to the product launch. “This is a real business, and the students face all of the challenges any business faces,” Professor Shine said. “It makes the lessons of the classrooms come alive.”

The CEO Club used a $4,500 President’s Innovation Award grant from the Genesee Community College Foundation to launch the venture. Profits from the SCHOLARS brand will be used to fund student scholarships.

CEO Club members are currently investigating possible additions to the product line. A candy product might be introduced next year, Mr. Black said.

For further information, or to purchase Scholars Apple Cider Syrup, contact Barbara Shine, Assistant Professor of Business at 585-343-0055 ext. 6319 or email: BAShine@genesee.edu.
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