The Genesis of a Business: Mariner Market


Rowan Munson, Reporter

“It can be scary because I think [opening the Market is] the business equivalent of making an art project and putting that publicly out in the world” Ajax Robinson (11) says on his fears for the Market’s opening. “But I think I’m really hopefully because I also love the kind of thrill of putting that out there.”

On September 23, the long-awaited Mariner Market hit the ground running, opening with a variety of grab-and-go snacks and drinks, including bubble tea, real fruit smoothies, and bottled beverages for sale. Serena Tyran (11) has been a vital part of the planning process since last year when the idea was first discussed. Tyran explained that people from Sehome’s DECA business club were recruited to help when the new school outline was primarily proposed.


Besides building and student support, they also found a teacher to head the project. Mr. Wood, a CTE teacher involved with both the marketing class and DECA, had helped run a student store in Ferndale at his old school and was more than willing to help start one here. The Market not only helps fund DECA’s trips, as well as any other involved clubs, but it will also give real world experience to students participating.

“The philosophy of the district is it’s allowed for tenth through twelfth graders to go off campus [for lunch] but I just think it’s better for the campus community -the students, the teachers, everybody as a whole- to stay on campus,” Wood said. In fact, the whole experience is all based on the student body’s choices. The Mariner Market is only a store, it’s what Sehome wants that drive what the experience is like, Robinson pointed out. If the students want something to change, pose ideas to workers or write a note to Mr. Wood. The student founders are always ready to hear responses or ideas.

Additionally, the Market has been working with local coffee house Maniac Roasting to obtain the brewing skills, beans, and machines they need to have store-level coffee and espresso service within the coming months. All the students have received food handling permits, Wood adds that they are full-hardheartedly based on creating a high-quality store within Sehome.

It has been a long time in the making, full of love-filled work and the realities of running a retail business, but the Mariner Market is finally opening to the student body and readying for next step.