NEW PHILADELPHIA — Buckeye Career Center’s newest addition to the Joe Carlisle Café & Marketplace is now officially open to the public.

The Buckeye Pride Shop features Buckeye Career Center apparel and is operated by Buckeye’s new Business/Marketing program for high school students. Instructor Heather Coletti’s students created the business plan, designed the apparel, ordered the apparel, and now operate the store, which also requires daily inventory checks, re-ordering, advertising, and customer service.

"It’s everything they have worked so hard for, starting from having to apply for a job within the store that they wanted, to now designing advertisements," said Coletti. "They get that real life experience and they’re getting all the different aspects of working in a business. That’s the bonus to having our own store."

Business/Marketing junior Laini Thompson, of the Carrollton area, enjoys seeing her designs come to life and eventually be worn around campus and the Buckeye community. Thompson was on-hand during the recent Buckeye Career Center community open house, which served as a soft opening for the store. Thompson felt pride when she sold the store’s very first shirt.

"It feels good. It feels like we are actually accomplishing something and all of our work is going towards something," said Thompson. She hopes her class’s dedication to opening the store will impact students in the years to come. "I hope as the store gets passed through the future Business/Marketing classes, that people remember that we were the kids who started that awesome store," said Thompson.

Current offerings in the Buckeye Pride Shop include t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, polos, beanies, and hats that feature the Buckeye Career Center name or logo, in addition to products for alumni. Many sizes are on-hand for purchase ahead of the Christmas holiday. Customers are invited to follow the Buckeye Career Center Facebook page and Instagram for sale updates.

The store, which is housed inside the Joe Carlisle Café, is open Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. It will be closed Dec. 20 through Jan. 2 because of Christmas break.