The DECA club at Minnesota School of Business (MSB) in Blaine recently unveiled the first-of-its-kind store on campus for students and staff, complete with hot and cold food and beverage items, student supplies, and MSB shirts, sweatshirts and other gear.
The grand opening was held in the former bookstore space on February 5 and 6. The DECA club students provided free cake and pizza, balloons and a raffle drawing by students for store gift cards. The store was crowded with customers and well-wishers throughout the two-day event. It was obvious the store received an overwhelmingly positive welcome.
DECA Co-Advisor and Accounting Program Chair Catherine Rice and Service Learning Coordinator Julie Kresh originally approached the students with the idea of finding a location to sell MSB gear, and it blossomed in the full-store idea.
“Having a student-run staff for the store will allow students a sense of responsibility and ownership, not only for funding their competitions, but for the inner workings of a business entity…in such a manner [that] will support both the Minnesota School of Business-Blaine campus and our chapter of Collegiate DECA,” wrote the DECA students in their proposal to Campus Director Diana Igo.
Nine months in the making, the Blaine MSB DECA students were excited about the practical business store opportunity and sought approval for it from Igo, who agreed to the concept and contributed the space to the endeavor. Colwin Enterprises, a company that MSB business students have collaborated with in the past, contributed a sizeable donation to help fund the store’s start-up costs.
“The great benefit of the store is that its proceeds will allow our DECA students to put more needed money toward DECA competitions,” Rice said.
Rice also explained that future plans call for expanding on the fixtures, refrigerators, shelving and inventory on site by adding other items on demand, like i-Tunes and gift cards to other stores.
“So far, the store has been very well received by students and staff,” Rice said. “As we see what sells best and serves customers, the refinements of our product offerings will increase the store’s business on an ongoing basis. We encourage everyone to stop by–buy something you need, or just visit.”
By Dave Erickson, Business Program Chair, Minnesota School of Business-Blaine