A Grand Opening for UNE’s S.W.A.P. Shop

by Cloey Parlapiano & Alethea Cariddi

After over a decade of being a glimmer in the eye of the Sustainability Office, and two years of make-shift/prototyping pop-up thrift events hosted by Earth’s E.C.O., and over a semester of planning by students in the Millennium Fellowship, the UNE S.W.A.P. Shop hosted its grand opening on February 14, 2024. 

The day started with Amanda Payne from Bangor Savings Bank arriving with the new P.O.S. (point of sale) machine that allows our shop to accept credit card transactions.  Amanda stayed to get all ten of our new employees set up and trained on the system.  Giving her a tour of the space and what Bangor Savings Bank had helped create was a prideful moment for our students.

The S.W.A.P. shop officially opened at 1 p.m. by one of the shop’s student managers, Ruth Ellis, putting out our sign. Together, the SWAP employees, Eco-Reps, and members of Earth’s E.C.O. welcomed their first visitors.

The shop student employees had set a seemingly lofty goal of 100 customers for the day.

Less than an hour into the grand opening, there had already been over 50 visitors to the shop, and by 4:30 they met their goal with their 100th customer!  By 6:00, as the shop was closing and taking stock of the day, we acknowledged how much support we felt from the community.  We saw 112 visitors throughout the day, and brought in over $350 in sales – a major accomplishment, considering most everything in the shop is $1-$5. It was a total success, and we are so excited that the UNE community came to support us! We can’t wait to continue the S.W.A.P. Shop and its legacy for years to come.