In what turned out to be a tight competition, Holy Angels Academy on Thursday edged out Niagara Falls High School as the site of the best student-run business among schools with entrepreneurial programs.
The North Buffalo school won the title for its greeting card and fresh-bagged Costa Rican coffee business at the Western New York Regional Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship competition at D'Youville College.
The Niagara Falls team came in second with a coffee and muffin breakfast business called Dynasty Coffee, which has been raking in profits all year by keeping students and teachers awake daily with its product. Niagara Falls won the award for "Best Presentation" from a group of eight judges representing the business community and the college's business school.
St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute came in a close third. The judges said they had to take extra time to declare a winner because the three top teams were so close.
Holy Angels won the first-place trophy and a $700 cash prize to help pay for a trip to Brooklyn in May to compete in the national championship.
The winner of the national title will compete in the World Cup finals in August in Shanghai, China.
Speaking for the Holy Angels business, called the HAA SAGE Club, Bridget Eimer, a ninth-grader, said the group was extremely pleased to win against some strong competition -- and on the school's first try. Describing the student-run business, she said, "We sold handmade greeting cards. We personally designed and stamped them ourselves. We offered nine different kind of cards that varied in theme, from birthday and thank-you to congratulations. We sold them at school and to the public. We advertised by having an interview on radio station WECK, where we feel we reached 20,000 people. We also had them sold at a bed-and-breakfast at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada."
Eimer said the group sold the cards individually and by the package. She said the business sold 200 cards and made a profit of $170.
She said the coffee business was done "just to try it out."
For the community service component of the student-run business, the students worked as volunteers for the Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped.