Potsdam High students to open coffee and snack store, to add to school funds and gain experience
Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 4:42 pm

POTSDAM ¬ A new student-run school store is on track to open in Potsdam High School in early March.

The Sandstoner Marketplace project received approval for a spring trial period from the board of education, the health and wellness committee, the principal, and the building planning team. Its goals are to generate revenue for the school, provide hands-on business education for the students, and to increase the on-campus quality of life for students.

Manager-in-Chief Sarah-Marie Choong said it will employ around 20 students as managers and workers.

The market will sell four different roasts of coffee, bought from St. Lawrence Valley Roasters, along with granola bars and fresh apples and bananas. Coffee is priced at $1.25 for a 12 oz. cup and $1.50 for 16 oz. Customers who bring their own cups or Thermoses will get a discount of 25¢.

Granola bars will be sold at 75¢ and fruit at 50¢.

Choong said that preliminary estimates project about $45,000 in profit over nine months of operation, not accounting for maintenance costs.

The store will be just outside of the library, next to the nurse¹s office. It will be open 7 to 10:40 a.m. regularly.

Donations to help with startup costs can be sent to Potsdam High School¹s main office, to the attention of Sarah Choong and marked as a donation.

They can also be done in person during the day to Sarah Choong the second and fourth weeks of February. Investments (purchases of bonds) can also be mailed in to the main office but must be marked as an investment or a bond purchase, and can also be delivered in person during the same weeks. For bonds, mailings must contain a current email address and a current mailing address so that the bond certificate may be mailed out. In-person transactions will involve taking down an investor¹s contact information for the same purposes.

The application and employee hiring period is taking place during February. All employees must submit applications and teacher references. Each applicant will be interviewed and references will be checked before a decision is made. In the future, workers will receive appropriate scholarship money from a portion of the business¹s profits, but during this trial period, as no data for appropriating the money exists, workers will only receive discounted coffee.

The revenue generated by the business will be donated to the school, most notably to the food services department, and also to student worker scholarships, and to a small grant fund for future student projects.

Startup costs total around $2,500, adding capital equipment and product costs together. To cover costs, they are urging students, parents, and faculty to donate to the business and invest in the business. The Sandstoner Marketplace is selling bonds of $10 value that are redeemable on June 7th, 2014, and which will mature at an annual rate of 5 percent of the original investment.

If they aren¹t able to reimburse the investors in full, after assets have been liquidated, remaining profits will be divided up between investors, Choong said.