Boston Buyers Club

The Amazing Story of 7-11 Stores

June 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham

Seven Eleven started in 1927 by a factory worker named John Jefferson Green. Green found some success selling basics, like milk or eggs, from a storefront he built for himself inside of one of the ice houses he worked at. He was able to compete with grocers in the area because the ice preserved his goods and cut back on the distance people would need to travel to get food stuffs.

Green’s manager Joe C. ‘Jodie’ Thompson Jr. bought out the plant, and several surrounding locations, to try and operate multiple stores.

Early Seven Eleven stores featured a totem pole, which one of the workers had brought back from a trip to Alaska. It was placed outside of a store in 1928 to attract attention, which worked. Soon, most early Seven Elevens had earned the nickname “totem stores.”

The company went bankrupt during the Great Depression, but managed to bounce back by 1946. The name of the store changed then to reflect its hours of operation, which were from seven in the morning to eleven at night. This was unprecedented for the time, and helped the company scale up to 100 stores in just six years.

The Seven Eleven corporation has had a host of owners. At one point, it was owned by General Electric and then AutoZone. It was eventually bought out by a Japanese company called Ito-Yokado, which has had controlling shares in the company since 1991.

Thanks to Seven Eleven, consumers can enjoy an ice cold Slurpee on a warm day.


Phineas Upham

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his LinedIn page.

School Fundraising Idea: Ice Cream Shop

June 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by: Gelato Products

Summary: Ice cream is a good fundraiser, if you know how to properly plan an event. These tips will help you put on an exciting ice cream shop to raise funds for a school or church.

Now that the warm weather is approaching, it’s a good time to start fundraising for the coming year. Ice cream can be a great method to bring in extra cash for your class. There are a variety of ways to offer ice cream as a promotion, and build a compelling promotion that gets your community involved. Here are some ideas on how to use ice cream as a fundraiser.

Ice Cream Booth

Running an ice cream booth requires some planning and a good venue. This is a great idea for youth or church groups with access to a hall. Look for a local play at an area theater, then talk with the production team to see if you can sell during intermission. Set up four or five small tables outside the venue, and pick up some ice cream shop supplies so you have cups and spoons. Lids are handy too, so you can sell to people after the show and let them take their dessert home.

There are two ways to charge for the ice cream you sell. You can sell it for a few dollars per scoop, or you can charge a flat fee for entry to your area, and offer free scoops with entry.

Freeze Off

Similar to the ice cream booth, the freeze off gamifies those ideas and turns buying ice cream into a competition. Each scoop should come with a certain number of tickets, and participants use their tickets like a vote. Set buckets out before each flavor you offer, then ask your customers to vote for their favorite flavors. At the end of the event, you announce the different winners and choose tickets from the buckets. Call out the numbers and award the ticket holders with a small donated prize.

Make sure you solicit a donation ahead of time, and offer plenty of ice cream spoons so customers can taste as much as they want to make a decision.

Final Thoughts

Fundraising can turn into a fun event, if you take the time ahead to plan for supplies. If possible, get parents and friends to RSVP ahead of time so you can get a count of ice cream cups and supplies you might need for the event. Be creative and try to incorporate fun ideas, and see if you can get your supplies donated to you from the school or some other organization. You’d be surprised at what you can get if you just ask.