There are many of these stores throughout the USA (see 826National). They are all non-profit tutoring and writing organizations for students between the ages of 6-18. The idea first began in San Francisco, whereby the founders had to set up a spoof Pirate Supplies shop in order to abide by city regulations, as they couldn’t get a license to tutor children. The NY store, pays homage to this by also having a hidden secret door at the back of the shop. It’s also a great way to make it more exciting for the children.
The other stores identities are Echo Park Time Travel Mart in LA, Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute in Boston, The Boring Store in Chicago; Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. in Seattle and Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair in Michigan. Some of the websites are nicely designed, so take a peek.
Tin and product images borrowed from Sam’s website.