Hidden Pearl opens downtown, plans return to West Campus

Though administrators have invited the coffee shop back, time will tell when they make their return


Michelene Havard

In the process of re-establishing itself in the community, the Hidden Pearl coffee shop partnered with West Campus to serve students and staff. Since it disappeared in December, many have wondered when it will return.

Michelene Havard, Staff Writer

Hidden Pearl’s absence at West Campus has lasted longer than students and staff anticipated. However, they have reopened their shop on Green Street, which has taken over a lot of their time.

“Right now Hidden Pearl is kind of swamped because they opened up their brick and mortar,” West assistant principal Greg Eiserman explained. “But we invited them back the last week of December and didn’t hear back. And then, again, in January we hadn’t heard [a definitive answer].” 

Hidden Pearl has not been able to reopen at West Campus because they have been hard at work since their December 26 opening, however there are a few things left that they need to get done before they can reopen in the Warrior Warehouse.

“So, we’re kind of waiting on them until they get the store, where they want it to be,” Eiserman said. “Right now we don’t have a firm date . . . [but, they have recently] confirmed they will be back in the spring.” 

At this point, the decision of when the doors to the coffee shop reopen at West Campus lies on Hidden Pearl. 

“I hope to [open it] very soon,” Alta Kreischer co-owner of Hidden Pearl said. “I just have a few things to get prepared first. We use a POS system to take orders, so I need another one of those to come back [to work at West Campus]. And, I need someone to cover my shifts [at the brick and mortar]. But we are actively trying to solve those problems.”

While Kreischer searches for people to cover her current shifts, she also needs to find out who is going to work with her at MCHS.

“When I do go back, probably in March,” Kreischer explains. “I will possibly be needing students to work alongside me. I generally need senior students who have senior incentive [AIM or study hall] and can work either first period or AIM potentially.” 

Although the new coffee shop on Green Street has just opened up, a lot of projects are still in the works such as a gaming room, a community room, and a comedy club.

“We’re still working on our build-up since it’s such a large building,” Kreischer informs. “It’s about 7,000 square feet and then currently we’ve opened about 3,000 of it. So, we’re still a little more than halfway to go and we hope to open more event spaces and rental rooms.”

Enjoying a fresh cup of coffee at West Campus has made a huge impact at our school for multiple reasons.

“From day one,” Eiserman said. “My whole thing was, ‘What are McHenry students proud of?’ And, so to be able to go out and say, ‘We have a coffee shop on campus.’ That’s pretty cool. So, I think just that alone [has impacted our school]. Not to mention some of us are addicted to it. The staff is pounding my door all the time asking when they are going to get their coffee back.”

Not only are the students and staff craving Hidden Pearl’s sweet return, but the Warrior Buddies have received a huge donation from all their hard work last semester.

“Hidden Pearl has partnered with us and they donate 25 cents every cup sold to our Warrior Buddies program,” special education teacher Madison Karr said when the coffee shop closed at West. “In return, our students do coffee deliveries. Teachers are able to put in online coffee orders at the start of the day and they will be delivered to their classroom during AIM. This is an amazing opportunity for our students because this allows them to interact more within the school community, meet other teachers, and develop hard and soft skills for employment.” This year the Warrior Buddies program kicked back over $1000 to the program. 

Hidden Pearl will be back, up and running at West Campus, in the blink of an eye. 

“Dan [Kerns, owner] and I met a couple weeks back, and [with] everything he told me they are absolutely coming back,” Eiserman assured.