The Modernization of the Pop Shop

Caption: Rafael Meikle serves up a snack order for a thirsty high school student during after school hours.  [Photo by Paulo Will Santos]

by Rafael Meikle (Warrior Post Reporter / São Paulo, Brazil)

Looking at The Pop Shop today, it might come as a surprise to some that it was once built as a wooden shack. However, the purpose of the shack was still the same back then as it is now: to give students the opportunity to sell and purchase snacks. 

“It was built from old looking pieces of wood and it looked horrible,” says Alexandre Silva, a maintenance employee who has been at Pan American Christian Academy (PACA) since 1995. 

He remembers those early days when students would sell and purchase snacks to each other from within its fragile walls. Back then the Pop Shop was used during school breaks and at special events to raise funds for PACA Stuco events.   

Over the years, a wooden shack in one corner of the school campus wouldn’t last very long. It was decided by PACA faculty and students together that the Pop Shop should be rebuilt into a solid concrete structure. This process would make it last indefinitely. 

It was their hard work that gives us the present day structure that we know as the better looking PACA Pop Shop. 

To bring interest to the PACA community about the newly built Pop Shop, students began to volunteer to work at the shop. In this process, they had the opportunity to sell different things from the cafeteria in order to increase interest in students visiting their shop rather than buying their snacks from the school’s vendor. 

Caption: The Pop Shop provides a convenient location for students to purchase snacks while they wait for their after school activities to begin.  [Photo by Paulo Will Santos]

They sold snacks in the morning breaks, in the afternoon lunch and during after-school hours. The Pop Shop declared that it was always open.  This means that anyone could pass by and pick up a quick snack in between classes or during lunch. 

The services of the Pop Shop grew to become not only a place to shop, but also a small student hub for socializing. Tables and chairs were added so that students can sit down, relax, have lunch, or even do their homework.

Although parts of the pop shop may seem to be a relic of the past, there are many plans to modernize its structure to fit the 21st century reality of our current students. 

The Pop Shop has a new system being introduced which is called “Pop Shop tabs.” In this new digital purchasing system, students may deposit 50 or 100 Reais on their tabs. Their money will become credits, so that they may drop by the shop and spend the credits by taking something and putting it on their tab. By having this system, it will become more convenient for everyone who does not have money with them all the time.. This system also means a Stuco member does not need to be present at all times. 

STUCO members are also making plans for a small renovation of the PACA Pop Shop. This will be done so that the shop may work 100 percent, for the better experience of everyone in the PACA community. With a fully functional, student-led shop, and current renovations,  there are high expectations for the benefits available to future students and current ones.