The Boring Store: Not a Secret Agent Store

The Boring Store: Not a Secret Agent Store

Sarah Coffey
Aug 4, 2010

Store History

  • Founded by: 826CHI
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • Sister stores: The Pirate Store, The Superhero Supply Company

"No longer supplying anything of utility" annouces the sign on this nondescript storefront in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. That's not exactly true; the Boring Store does supply things of utility, but it's also not a regular store. It's the retail front for 826CHI, a non-profit organization that provides tutoring and writing classes to students ages 6 to 18.

The Boring Store is one of several clever stores that are used to support 826 writing organizations across the country — San Francisco has "The Pirate Store" and Brooklyn has "The Superhero Supply Company." Author Dave Eggers founded the organization in California, and it's since expanded across the US.

The Chicago secret agent shop does actually sell spy supplies. You can see their inventory online — everything from banana cell phones to envelope X-ray spray. The shop is located in the front of the space, and the writing workshops take place in a large classroom in back.

Photo: Flickr member Joe Marinaro used under Creative Commons License 2.0

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