Coffee, Cupcakes, and Community

By Lauren Cohen

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, Patticakes was welcomed into the Oak Hall community, after a quick opening at the campus student store, located within the Administration Building. Students and faculty made their way to the newest attraction on campus to explore the shop and the menu selections, and Patticakes is quickly becoming the buzz of the school!

The newest coffee shop, however, sells more than just coffee. Patticakes is creating a space for good conversation, and food as well. It hopes to encourage students and faculty to gather and share stories with one another.

Emily Welch, the manager of Patticakes, expressed her delight over meeting members of the Oak Hall community, and getting to know the customers. “We love [hearing] stories at Patticakes and getting to know people, what they do, and what their passions are,” she said excitedly. Welch also enjoys being able to meet new people, and learn new faces. Patticakes is all about coffee, cupcakes, and community.

Patticakes manager, Emily Welch.

The store will be open every school day from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., and plans to sell breakfast and lunch. Menu options are spelled out on scrabble pieces, in a creative way to capture the eye of the customer. For breakfast, the menu includes various muffins and quiches; and as for lunch, numerous sandwiches can be ordered including veggie, turkey, ham, and cheese. Aside from breakfast and lunch, Patticakes will serve cupcakes, ice cream, smoothies, tea, and coffee. There are currently many options available for students and faculty; and management is always welcoming suggestions and requests if there is a high demand.

Raquel Sokol, a first-year Oak Hall freshman, is very excited to have this attraction on campus, as she has always been a fan of the original location in Haile Plantation. In addition, Sokol is always happy to see a local business thrive. “I think having a coffee shop on campus is amazing,” she said. “Being able to grab a coffee or a cupcake during lunch is so much fun,” she continued. Sokol is looking forward to spending her free time in Patticakes, while enjoying cups of iced coffee and munching on treats.

The menu at Patticakes, located on Oak Hall’s campus in the Administration Building.

The owner of Patticakes, Jan Patterson, was thrilled to receive a call from Kirk Klein, a member of the Oak Hall School Board, and father of three Eagles, who informed her of the exciting opportunity to open up a new location on Oak Hall’s campus. Patterson enthusiastically accepted the offer, just two weeks before the start of this school year.

In just a short amount of time, Patterson assembled her staff, and got to work. She has been humbled by the kindness and graciousness of the Oak Hall faculty and staff. On the first day, after trying to set up the espresso machine, Patterson began to notice a leak. Thankfully, Oak Hall maintenance worker Fernando Castro, rushed in and helped solve the problem.

One of the greatest challenges of managing a place, beyond technical aspects, is “trying to figure out what the customers want on any given day,” Patterson explained. This challenge excites her, and the Patticakes team, as they begin to learn more about the Oak Hall Community.

“Wherever we can make new friends and grow our community, we are happy to be there,” Patterson said joyfully.

Photos by Lauren Cohen

About the author: Lauren Cohen is an Oak Hall Sophomore and Journalism II Honors student, as well as a staff member for the Oak Hall newspaper, “The Talon”. Lauren loves to express herself through writing, oratory, and photography. In her free time, you can find her writing opinion pieces for “The Gainesville Sun” or doing street art photography. Lauren is humbled to be working for the school newspaper, and looks forward to sharing stories within the school community!

Preview: Fall for the Arts Homecoming Night

On Oct. 18, the Oak Hall community is joining together for an epic homecoming celebration, complete with Eagle (temporary) tattoos and pompoms! Benefiting the Oak Hall Annual Fund, in turn benefiting Oak Hall students, the Fall for the Arts Homecoming Night extravaganza will transform the traffic circle between the Upper and Middle School into one, large, spirit party.

Prior to the Eagles’ Homecoming football game versus Rocky Bayou Christian, numerous activities will occur from 5-7 p.m., including bounce houses, corn hole, singing with the always amazing Oak Hall musicians, silent auctions, and a spaghetti dinner from Napaletano’s, along with other exciting forms of entertainment. Furthermore, raffle tickets for a chance to win a 2-year lease on a Chevy Equinox (or $15,000 cash) will be sold, with the winning ticket drawn at Eagle Fest.

In addition to the pre-game festivities, the district championship football team from 1979 will be honored at halftime.

“I truly hope this becomes an evening where we all get together to celebrate the Arts, cheer on our football team, and join together as one school to celebrate Oak Hall,” commented James Hutchins, Head of School.

The Oak Hall Annual Fund is a program designed to “benefit every Eagle, every day”. Since tuition doesn’t cover the abundant number of programs offered to the students, professional development for staff and faculty, and enhancements to classrooms, amongst other things, donations are encouraged to cover the operating costs of the aforementioned items.

The Fall for the Arts Homecoming Night is just one of many fundraising opportunities for the school. In fact, for the past three years, 100 percent of the OHS faculty, staff, and board of directors have given support to the fund.

For a complete list of activities, and to purchase tickets for certain activities at Fall for the Arts, please visit or contact Director of Advancement, Rebekah Johnson at