The Shack Celebrates
Last weekend, Wheaton Academy celebrated the grand opening of a new student-run business, The Shack.
The business originated in a 2020 Winterim Class, Business Innovation Lab where students researched and developed a plan to address different aspects of the business. They investigated everything from food safety to vehicle options, branding and finances. At the end of the course, students pitched the business to school administration and then to a group of potential investors—Shark Tank-style.
This fall, their dreams became reality when Wheaton Academy provided funds to purchase a food truck and start the Shack, as a student run business.
With the purchase underway, the Business & Innovation Club began to meet weekly during second semester 2021. The Club divided into two divisions – student run businesses and DECA. Members have been appointed to roles such as the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Communications Officers, DECA President/Vice President and the President/Vice President of Student Run Businesses. We even have a Shack Boss and leaders over menu and events.
Jack Schroeder ’24, The Shack Boss, shares, “My responsibility is to coordinate the operation of The Shack by managing supplies, the operation of the business, scheduling of events, along with working with my other team members to make sure everything aspect of The Shack is operating smoothly. The Business Club worked hard to get The Shack ready for the spring musical by getting the wrap on the truck, cleaning it, and acquiring the products we needed for opening night.”
Another team is working hard under the direction of Kathleen Christensen, a school parent, to design the menu options for next year. Menu Co-Chair Mateo Montoya ’24 shares, “My team and I are working hard to create a diverse menu with tasteful desserts, delectable dishes, and refreshing drinks. We’re meeting twice a week to experiment with new flavor combinations and healthy culinary concepts that will reinvent the words ‘food truck.’“
Every great business needs a logo, so the club hosted a school-wide logo design competition. After three rounds of elimination, Emma Van Wagner ‘21 was selected by the student body as the winner of the design contest.
The truck was unveiled over the weekend as students distributed churros during the outdoor performance of Disney’s High School Musical.
“Mr. Rivera and I have been consistently impressed by our students’ ability to collaborate in managing the Club and to start the Shack. We are very blessed with many talented leaders. I am looking forward to getting to know them in the coming years and seeing were they take this,” said Phil Strzalka.
Wheaton Academy is excited to continue provide opportunities for our students to develop communication, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills as tomorrow’s business leaders through student run-business ventures like The Shack. Stay tuned for information as our business club continues to unveil its plans for this summer and next school year!