Hidden Pearl moves out to accommodate Booster Club

Though the Hidden Pearl left to make room for another fundraising group, the shop's sudden disappearance confused and disappointed many students

The+window+is+closed+on+popular+Hidden+Pearl+coffee+shop+at+West+Campus.+The+shop+moved+to+make+room+for+the+Booster+Club.

Karina Lucarz

The window is closed on popular Hidden Pearl coffee shop at West Campus. The shop moved to make room for the Booster Club.

Michelene Havard, Staff Writer

West Campus administrators announced Hidden Pearl’s closure on December 2. The coffee shop left West indefinitely to make room for the Booster Club concessions.

 “About this [time of] year, the Booster Club needs to get their stuff organized because they are the priority during basketball season,” West assistant principal Greg Eiserman said.

There was not enough room in the space to properly handle and store inventory for both Booster Club and Hidden Pearl fundraising efforts.

Hidden Pearl was a local coffee shop that resided at West Campus’s Warrior Warehouse space. A portion of the money from sales was donated to support Warrior Buddies. “Warrior Buddies is a co-curricular club aiming to promote social opportunities for all students regardless of academic, social, or physical ability,” special education teacher Madison Karr explained. Hidden Pearl partnered with Warrior Buddies and they donated 900 dollars to the program last year. 

The Booster Club is comprised of parent volunteers who raise money at different athletic events for the athletic programs. During the basketball season, the Booster Club sells concessions in the Warrior Warehouse during the games. 

Hidden Pearl was unhappy with the idea of moving out of the space. “With a few changes [to the Warrior Warehouse] we think [sharing the spot] could be done,”  Hidden Pearl owner Dan Kerns replied, “the real loss is to Warrior Buddies. We are a huge part of their fundraising efforts.”

Administration worked hard to devise a plan so that both Hidden Pearl and the Booster Club can coexist together. Since the concession stand hasn’t been updated in 20 years, they needed to bring it up to code.

“We have ordered some new furniture [such as] new stainless steel tables and shelving to try to make room for everybody to fit,” says Eiserman. “Hidden Pearl is probably on a three-week hiatus and our goal is to get them [open by the beginning of the] second semester.”

The Booster Club needed to bring all of its merchandise and stock over to West Campus because they don’t have heated storage space. “They have to store it in a place that’s heated,” Eiserman informed. “[They sell] pop and it explodes when it gets too cold.”

Tracy Fees, president MCHS Booster Club stated that they were just as shocked to hear the coffee shop closed. “This was not a decision made by Booster Club,” she said. “We are a volunteer group and do not have the authority to make these decisions.”

Earlier this year the administrators, Booster Club, and Hidden Pearl sat down for a meeting and realized West Campus is very tight on storage space. It concluded due to space issues, Hidden Pearl ultimately decided to leave.

“It’s very challenging because the Booster Club this time of year is the absolute priority,” Eiserman added. “They have the concession stand down there … and all of that money helps pay for additional needs that our athletic teams have.” 

Many students are annoyed the coffee shop is closed.

“[Hidden Pearl] gives me access to coffee in the morning,” West junior Jonathan Adams explained. “It helps me because sometimes I don’t sleep or I’m just groggy in the morning, and [coffee] wakes me up. I don’t have time in the morning to go to McDonald’s.”

Hundreds of students bought coffee from Hidden Pearl every day before school and during AIM because it was accessible.

“Oh yeah,” Brooke Langfeld exclaimed. “Every day, every day we’re going down [to buy coffee].”

Having a coffee shop at West Campus was a privilege and the students recognized that. 

“I would say, there’s not really any disadvantages,” Adams said. “There is a lot more good that comes with [Hidden Pearl] being there. Everyone will go on with their day if it’s not there. It’s just more of like a benefit that helps people.”

Choosing between coffee or concessions isn’t easy, but MCHS student has an open mind on the subject.

“It shouldn’t be either [or] if we could do both.” Adams answers. “Unless it’s like a money issue, then I would probably just do a concession stand because that’s [a primary concern] during the sports season.”

West administrators hope to reopen Hidden Pearl by January 6, but whether or not that is attainable is not confirmed.