The Holmen High School Entrepreneurship Class has been practicing a socially conscious business model for 22 years.
The seniors enrolled in this year’s class will carry on the tradition with the opening its model store, “Frozone, brought to you by Kwik Trip.”
The store will have its grand opening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Holmen High School store. Proceeds from merchandise sales, a silent auction and a bake sale will be used to assist a Holmen alumnus’ family.
The Schwark family’s infant Jovie was born prematurely and has required extensive medical care. Profits from the store will go toward helping defray those medical expenses. Holmen High School senior Mitchell Beinborn, a student in the entrepreneurship class and member of the model store team, is cousin to the infant’s mother.
The store, which is developed and operated by students, has raised roughly $4,000 for various charity recipients chosen throughout the years. They have learned giving back to the community is a worthy business model.
“Operating socially responsible businesses can be a competitive edge,” store co-manager Alexa Breske said.
In addition to the silent auction and bake sale, shoppers can purchase handcrafted holiday decor and other merchandise such as Viking wear. The grand opening will feature a YMCA dance performance, Viking Elementary choir performance and cookie decorating station as well as a presentation by the entrepreneur class.
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“We definitely have a lot of hard-working people who are excited with the store,” co-manager Braden Nissen said.
After the grand opening, the store will be open the following week Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7:30 pm.; the store will be closed Sundays.
The Kwik Trip sponsorship developed when the class explored creative ways to increase revenues through the model store and a couple students approached the firm with a unique proposal.
“Two people in the class had a connection with Kwik Trip and contacted them about naming rights,” Nissen said.
Having those rights will allow Kwik Trip to post information containing the model store’s name on the convenience store business’ social media sites as well as in its stores.
The agreement with the convenience store firm provided students with experience in entering into legal contracts with a business in addition to those made with consigners.
“It was fun drafting the legal documents,” Micah Mravik said. “We created consignment agreements that would pay the suppliers either a flat rate or a percentage of the sales.”
Along with the hands-on operation of a store, the students learned other aspects of operating a store such as marketing and promotions, financing, team building and start-up steps for opening a small business enterprise. In addition to classroom lessons, students take field trips to local businesses to learn about starting their own businesses. Students enrolled in the entrepreneurship class are members of the high school’s DECA organization.