Ocho Café Opens on Makin Island

by Seaman Nadia Lund
24 October 2020
Ocho Café Opens on Makin Island
Ocho Café Opens on Makin Island
Ocho Café Opens on Makin Island
Ocho Café Opens on Makin Island
Ocho Café Opens on Makin Island
Photo By: CNSP
VIRIN: 210419-N-N0831-0004
PACIFIC OCEAN – USS Makin Island (LHD 8) opened the doors of a new coffee bar – the Ocho Café – during a grand opening ceremony Oct. 24.
The café was open to give the crew a place to relax and enjoy a taste of home. Built into the mess decks, it is easily accessible to Sailors and Marines.
“It is a little place people can socialize and experience something familiar,” said Capt. Thomas Ulmer, Makin Island’s commanding officer. “It takes you back to shore, and gives you the ability to have something that you remember from home that will bring smiles to people’s faces.”
Many Sailors were involved in the making of Ocho Café. Electrician’s mates wired the café, hull maintenance technicians built the counter tops and mass communication specialists designed and printed the various signs.
“It’s been neat to watch it evolve,” said Ulmer. “The team has been pushing forward and doing a phenomenal job. It’s nice to see the smiles and the joy in people’s eyes when they see everything come to life.”
Before the grand opening, Starbucks trainers were sent to the ship to teach the retail service specialists who are now serving as baristas.
“Since training, we’ve been learning on our own,” said Retail Service Specialist Seaman Ashley Perez. “We are making up drinks, moving faster and are improving. Opening up today gives us more of a feel to what it’ll be like.”
The café offers a wide range of drinks, and provides customized options, such as syrups, flavors and espresso shots.
“Having a Starbucks on board allows me to hold onto familiarity,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Michael Cole. “It helps to have something comforting before a long work day.”
Not only does the café provide coffee and tea to the Sailors and Marines onboard, but the profits also fund Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events.
“Whether it’s for fitness contests, talent shows or game contests, we can give prizes and update equipment to give back to the crew,” said Beth Downs, the ship’s MWR Fun Boss.
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting at-sea training events in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations.
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