Harvard Student Agencies celebrated the grand opening of a new Harvard Shop at 34 JFK Street this past weekend, following the closure of a separate location due to renovations to Harvard’s Smith Campus Center.
About 200 people attended the opening, according to the Harvard Shop’s managing director Harrison J. Choate ’17. The event featured free coffee, frozen yogurt, and discounted prices on all items throughout the afternoon.
HSA president Stephen W. Xi ’17 said the organization used the event to appeal to a wider consumer base.
“We wanted to make it a student-centric event, because we are a student-run business,” Xi said. “We wanted to include the Harvard community, and by giving out freebies, and organizing a student performance, we could help achieve that goal.”
According to Choate, student managers worked closely with other Harvard Square businesses throughout the planning process to foster camaraderie among local vendors.
“Our partnerships manager was reaching out to different businesses to see if they’d like to take part in the event, to foster friendly relations with the Harvard Square business community,” Choate said.
HSA also partnered with the Harvard Lowkeys a capella group, which performed at the event.
Grace C. Ramsey ’19, a member of the Lowkeys, said the group appreciated the opportunity to perform in a more “informal” setting, where they could perform in front of friends in a free, non-ticketed environment.
“The people at the Harvard Shop were really energetic,” Ramsey said. “I think that all the kids there were having a great time, and we thought it was really fun, as well.”
Xi said several factors impacted the decision to open the shop in the new venue.
“When the location came up, it seemed like a perfect place to do it: it’s a great hub for activity, there’s a lot of people going in and out, and there’s so many new businesses opening up in the area,” Xi said. “In opening a new store, we hope to continue to offer meaningful employment opportunities for Harvard students.”Choate said the new JFK location represents a different aesthetic and demographic target for HSA. Choate added that the new store has a more “light-hearted and fun vibe” to target a more family-friendly audience. Additionally, Choate hopes new items for children will increase the number of families entering the store.
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