DECA store set to open again


Hope Rasa

(Left to right) Manuela De Paula, Sammie Hong, Yana Pathak, Vivian Daroczy, Harshini Lyer, Katie Li and Mahima Uliyar.

Hope Rasa, Sports editor

Distributive Education Clubs of America, commonly shortened to DECA, is a student-led club that prepares students for futures in business, hospitality and marketing through competitions and projects. 

One of the projects brought on by DECA members is the DECA store. The DECA store is a student-managed concessions shop next to the cafeteria where students can buy snacks, drinks and cookies with cash. They were planning on opening up on Dec. 8, but that’s been delayed while they wait on approval from the district. The store will now open up after winter break. The store won’t be running during break this year as it has in the past, but it will be open and running during lunches. Senior retail managers Yana Pathak and Sammie Hong will be managing the store, but all members of the DECA executive team will help run the store. 

In previous years, the DECA retail class was scheduled during certain lunches, allowing DECA students to run the store as a part of their class period. This year’s schedule changes have made that impossible. Instead, DECA students will run the store during their own lunch periods, finding downtime during their shift to eat. 

The profits generated by the DECA store will help to pay for DECA competitions and other club expenses. 

“Most of our money comes from the DECA store. We use it to subsidize costs for going to competitions and to hold more events in the school,” senior DECA Co-President Mahima Uliyar said. 

DECA regularly participates in national competitions, and members will travel to Atlanta for their international competition, which students who qualify past area and state competitions will attend. 

“I’m looking forward to it because last year events were virtual, so even though I gained a lot of experience, it wasn’t super fun. This year, it will definitely be fun,” sophomore DECA member Ahbinav Akkiraju said. 

The most popular DECA store product in years past has been their cookies, which are “Otis Spunkmeyer” brand cookies that the store bakes fresh for each order. Junior Jonathan Tomas said he remembers the cookies were very popular during the 2019-2020 school year.

“Kids were crowded around the little window where they were handing them out; everyone wanted them. I don’t think I’m the only one looking forward to those cookies again this year,” Tomas said.  

Uliyar said DECA plans to sell seasonal items as well. During the winter, she said, they’ll serve hot chocolate, and during the spring, they’ll serve lemonade. 

DECA sophomore representative Nadia Teng said the DECA club has considered selling school merchandise like hats and t-shirts in the store alongside their usual items. 

“It was suggested that maybe we could sell some ASB products, but they’re still talking it over—nothing has been decided yet,” Teng said. 

DECA students operating the store have obtained Washington State Food Handlers permits and will be adhering to strict COVID-19 guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus while operating the store. 

“We’ll be very careful this year. Obviously, masks will still be on, we’ll wash our hands, and we’ll wear gloves at all times. I would hope that no one worries, but we’ll take every measure possible to make sure they don’t,” Uliyar said.

The DECA store is open to suggestions from students about future merchandise. Hong said students who want to make a suggestion can simply stop by the store when they open during lunch and give the DECA members working in the store their suggestions.