PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Port aux Basques has relocated to Main Street in the former Sears building next to the courthouse.
“As you can see, there’s quite a change,” said Pastor Maurice Collins, shortly before he helped Gertie Lawrence cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new store.
The location allows shoppers more room to maneuver as they browse for deals, and is big enough to also house the Salvation Army’s food bank. The new store is even big enough to accept furniture donations.
While the thrift store opened on Jan. 8, the food bank doesn’t open at the new building until Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Also on hand for the launch were MHA Andrew Parsons and Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer.
“I think there’s no better way to start a new year than with something really positive like this here, and as someone who has visited the old store this is a dramatic change. I think it’s absolutely beautiful,” said Parsons, who gave major props to the church and its volunteers for their hard work.
Spencer shared many of the same sentiments.
“The tremendous amount of volunteer work that went into this building is amazing,” said the mayor, who thanked the Salvation Army for its work in the town. “If you see the latest studies out there – people are in need.”
It was last October that the Salvation Army decided to relocate the store. The old location was smaller and more congested, and shoppers had trouble walking between the racks.
That’s no longer the case.
Freshly painted walls and newly laid carpet were part of an all-volunteer construction project that lasted from November until shortly before Christmas. Overall preparation for the new store took about two months, and after the holidays the volunteers began moving in stock and filling the shelves.
“This is your store where you can shop and find things at a reasonable price,” said Collins during his opening speech. “In turn the money raised here goes right back into our programs. It stays here in the community. It doesn’t go anywhere else.”
Anyone looking for more information on family services may contact Pastor Collins at 695-7153.
Food bank hours are Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The thrift store is open six days per week from Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.