Mission Thrift, which in November took over occupancy of the long vacant, former Super Valu location on Baker Street, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Mission Thrift entered their new building midway through November, 2019, since then manager Ed Crowell says things have been going well, and that he’s been feeling the strong support of the community and adds that the customer base has increased by at least 30 to 40 per cent and sales have been high.
“We’ve been able to help sponsor the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), a lot more with goods so that’s important to help within our local community.”
The grand opening will feature speeches from local dignitaries including Mayor Lee Pratt and MLA Tom Shypitka beginning at 11 a.m., plus a representative from CMHA. There will be food provided, cake and a ribbon cutting ceremony.
There will also be a grand door prize drawn at 1 p.m., and Crowell said he’s put the word out to local businesses to drum up support in the form of more prizes to hand out over the course of the day, there will also be plenty of sales on merchandise over the course of the day.
The motivation to move into a new location stemmed from a simple issue of a lack of space to display all the goods they had. Their previous location, at 9,000 square feet, couldn’t house all their inventory so they had to resort to renting trailers to put out back and store the surplus.
The new location on Baker Street is nearly twice as big at 17,000 square feet, allowing them to put nearly 40 per cent more inventory into the store itself.
Crowell said that this means that this saved about 5,100 pounds of product from going to the landfill.
“If you multiply that by at least 12 months we’re looking at 60,000 pounds of clothing that was saved from going into the Cranbrook dump,” Crowell said.
In addition to the amount of goods saved from an untimely end, Crowell said that he feels like the move into this long-vacant lot is a good thing for downtown Cranbrook.
“Revitalization of the old grocery store which was just an eyesore and taking the leap of let’s make it look nice and be a part of our downtown business area and I think it’s increased and made the city look a bit nicer as you come into downtown.”
Construction on the new location went well, Crowell said. They had the help of numerous volunteers including the 552 Key City Cadets who came in one night and helped unload five trailers worth of goods.
“The transition was actually fairly smooth, we had very little problems, I was quite shocked actually,” Crowell said. “But lots of help within our volunteers and lots of help from the immediate area of people who are helping with us that we were able to get it done fairly quick and get up and going.”
Most importantly, the increased storefront space has allowed for more customers, which means more support to the organizations that Mission Thrift supports, including the CMHA.
“We’re very thankful to the Cranbrook residents for all their support,” Crowell said, “and if they ever have questions they’re more than welcome to come and ask.”