Our Secret Identity - The Story Behind Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. is a real and actual retail store, serving as a front for 826NYC, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting students, ages 6-18, with their writing skills.

Our dedicated tutors, storytellers, and workshop leaders help 4,000 New York students a year. All purchases from BSSCo. directly support 826NYC, and if you would like to make a direct tax-deductible donation, you can do so here.

If you're planning to visit our brick and mortar location, you can find us at 372 Fifth Avenue (btw. 5th and 6th Street) in Park Slope, near the 4th Avenue-9th Street stop on the F, G, and R trains. Free services include Cape Testing, the Devillainizer, and a vintage Mind Reading Chair. 

Our hours of operation are 11:00am to 5:00pm seven days a week. However, we are primarily staffed by volunteers whose hours can be uncertain. If you wish to confirm that we are open you can always call us at (718) 499-9884 to confirm that we are fully operational at the time of your planned visit.

ONLINE ORDERING REMINDERS

Our staff is small. Orders are processed as quickly as possible, and should arrive within two weeks. If you need your order sooner, please contact our store manager Chris to see if it can be expedited.

Because of the nature of our business and our merchandise, we don't accept returns on online orders. We are happy to answer questions before you order. If an item is damaged in transit, we will ship out a replacement. 

We will very very occasionally have to offer a substitution on some orders. We will notify you of the substitution prior to shipment, and if the alternative is not acceptable, we will offer a refund or credit for that portion of the order.

OTHER QUESTIONS THAT ARE FREQUENTLY ASKED

Why does a writing and literacy nonprofit need superhero supplies?  

When novelist Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari launched the original 826 chapter in San Francisco, the building (at 826 Valencia) was zoned for retail. To accommodate this rule, they opened the Pirate Supply Store, a seafarer’s mercantile. When 826NYC opened in 2004 in the heart of Gotham/Metropolis/The Big Apple, a Superhero Supply store seemed like the natural fit. In the ensuing years, each chapter has developed its own unique storefront.

 The storefronts serve several purposes:

  • They engage the curiosity of the community and bring attention to the programs 826 chapters provide
  • They inspire the imagination and signal to students that our chapters are a place for creativity and freedom
  • Sales in the store generate income to keep our programs free for students and their families

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

BSSCo. is always looking for dedicated Community Ambassadors to run the store and spread the word about our programs. Prospective ambassadors can fill out this form to begin the intake process.

There are many other ways you can help outside of working in the store. You can contact 826NYC's Volunteer Coordinator Liz for more information, or read about these opportunities here.

Can I customize an item?

In the past we've created custom capes and superpowers for personal and corporate events. Please contact us if you have a superheroic concept not covered by our standard catalog of items.

Where’s my order?  It’s been a while.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

Call us at (718) 499-9884 or e-mail Chris.  

Can I Host an Event at BSSCo.?

Sure! Contact our space rental expert Nico for rates and availability. We have Birthday Party packages, and have also hosted concerts, readings, book release parties, filmings, and other events in the past. If you have an idea for a Secret Library event, let us know.