Students and staff no longer have to travel to Arthur for monster cookies, raspberry muffins or energy bits.
Country Cheese and More Company will now sell their pastries at Java Beanery and Bakery in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Steve Purdy, junior marketing major, proposed the partnership idea to the co-owners Paul and Nicola Pearce during his marketing internship.
“In the interview for the internship, that was one of my main selling points-that I am going to get you into Eastern Illinois,” Purdy said. “I had it in my mind that it was going to happen and it seemed like it worked out for me.”
Purdy first pitched his idea to Kristin Hupp, director of Panther Catering and Hupp had another interview with the owners.
Purdy said he did not have any real experience pitching marketing ideas before meeting with Hupp, but he allowed his drive to see Country Cheese and More succeed overpower his nerves.
“One, it was my first real time selling an idea, two, I never sat down with people who were in a position above me and kind of get interviewed,” Purdy said. “It was definitely nerve-racking but then I met with them and they are great people.”
Java will now purchase items from Country Cheese and More weekly and will alternate between which pastries from the bakery it will sell to coincide with the season and what customers prefer.
“It was just exciting knowing that I helped build a relationship that could benefit the business for years to come,” Purdy said.
The partnership will increase both companies’ revenue and it has always been Nicola Pearce’s goal to bring their product to her husband’s alma mater, Pearce said.
“We started the partnership for several reasons. One, my husband is an alum and we started a marketing internship with Steve. Its just a great way to introduce our product to students,” Nicola Pearce said. “It’s a piece of home you have been missing.”
Wednesday morning was the debut of the partnership where students and staff tried free pastry samples combined with two different teas offered at Java.
Country Cheese and More has been open for 12 years but it has only been for the last two years that Paul and Nicola Pearce have owned it. Paul Pearce is mainly in charge of the finances while Nicola is control of the food preparation.
The restaurant offers cheeses, breads, sandwiches, salsa and daily soup specials.
“We definitely try to keep it up to date and draw more customers in by having a surplus of items,” Purdy said.
The products are all made from fresh and natural ingredients.
“It’s definitely got its perks, working at a bakery. It’s really awesome being able to say that this (product) is amazing, you need to try it and believing that they are going to love it,” Purdy said.
The business’ next goal is to get their products sold in the union’s food court, Purdy said.
Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]