"When they looked into the building they wanted to use at 826 Valencia Street, the landlord was open to the idea of a tutoring center, but he told Dave that the address was zoned for retail. They had no choice, the landlord said: at the front of the building, they had to sell something. (TheDieline.com)"
Their solution? Open a (beautifully designed) nonsense store.
"To raise funds, inspire creativity, and advertise our programs to the local community, most of our centers include a street-front retail store filled with unusual products, entertaining signage, and, of course, our books for sale. San Francisco’s pirate supply store sells glass eyes and one-of-a-kind peglegs, 826NYC’s Superhero Supply Company offers custom-fit capes, Seattle’s Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company sells all your space commuting appurtenances, 826michigan's Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair Shop specializes in must-have mechanical conveniences, while 826LA features a time travel store, there's a secret agent supply store in Chicago, and the Cryptozoology shop in Boston is now open! (826 National)"
Below, some of the products sold at The Pirate Supply Store in San Fran, via TheDieline.com. I think my favorite is the pine needle tea because of its obscurity, and that it is a factual 19th century remedy for scurvy. Pine needles, especially white pine, are high in vitamin C.
I plan on visiting the Cryptzoology store in Boston this fall.
(Thanks for the tip, Doan!)