School Store Re-vamp

Leland Bartikofsky

The Hornet’s Nest is Preble’s privately owned snack market. The Hornet’s Nest took a large economic hit this year when state health codes forced the zany, determined school store owner, business teacher Mark Bonetti, to remove all unhealthy products from his school store. This removed all of his best selling snacks and drinks. This cut the school store’s profits by 20% from last year’s profits. In comparison to how many store items they had to stop selling like Takis, Mountain Dew, and candy bars, this figure is quite low. 

The school store makes quite an impressive profit. The gross annual earnings definitely exceed the tens of thousands.  One might ask where this money goes?  Money made in the school store stays in school and is spent on updates like the Jumbotron in the lunchroom. The school store also gives money to clubs looking to fundraise or clubs that need startup money. 

Beyond the economic value that the school store presents to Preble, it is also a place where involved students get sales experience and volunteer hours. I interviewed the school manager, Alexis Simonet, and when asked why the school store was so special to individual students, she replied, “It is because of the products that we offer to them that are so easily accessible.  They don’t have to go anywhere.  They can just come to their school store and get these things that they want”. That closeness and convenience is the main reason that the school store still has a loyal student consumer base. 

Founder and owner of the Hornet’s Nest, Mark Bonetti, thinks that there is a comeback on the horizon for the school store. Recently he has tasked his marketing students with finding new products that fit the state health guidelines that will sell as well as last year’s best sellers. I interviewed Mr. Bonetti on struggles of the new budget and new ideas that have helped the store overcome this obstacle. He commented on his students’ vast marketing research and his recent venture into the world of technology sales. The school’s store now offers its own wireless earbuds called “Hornet Pods” and is beginning to sell phone chargers as well. 

All of this marketing research has turned the smart people behind the school store on to one product they believe will restore glory to the Hornet’s Nest. This product is called Bang Energy, and it’s the fuel for hardworking, late night studying students everywhere. This supercharged energy drink has no calories, sugar, or sodium and is used by athletes and active people around the nation. It seems as though state health reforms and drops in sales can’t damper the spirit of these proud and ingenious school store workers.