Gracie’s Thrift Shop opened in July 2009, as a fundraising project of Grace United Church.
The first sale was in a small basement church meeting room. We raised $80 on the first day. From there we opened every Saturday with the help of 12 volunteers.
A short while later, as the church’s financial position imporved, it was decided that the proceeds of the sales would be donated to local schools, charites and global emergencies. The shop ran entirely by volunteers who kept overheads low.
It wasn’t long before the number of items received from friends and neighbours of the shop, filled the small room and overflowed into the larger outer hall. At that time we were holding our Tuesday Breakfast down there and everything for sale would have to be crammed into the small room after each thrift sale. Eventually, the Breakfast was moved upstairs opening up the entire basement, where we continued to operate until the pandemic struck.
The support of our customers has been the driving force behind Gracie’s success. Over the years we have been able to make a difference in our community and globally. In 2019 alone we were able to raise over $15,000, which we have donated to various worthwhile causes.
Our customers have become friends and the shop a gathering place for friends and neighbours. The Open Mic Coffee House takes place upstairs on sale days. It began a couple of years after the thrift shop opened, adding energy to those in the building and enjoyed by shoppers, too. Gracie’s shifted to opening on alternate Saturdays, with the help of a changing volunteer base that continues to find Gracie’s a fulfilling activity.
Now we face and embrace another change. With the closing of Gracie’s over a year ago, due to the COVID 19 Pandemic restriction on inside shopping, we find the need to reinvent ourselves. We are taking the plunge into on-line shopping that provides thrifty value to our neighbours in need and retaining the exisiting value recyling supports. Who knows where it will lead, but we are happy to be in contact with our loyal customers again and hope you will give it a chance.
Thanks for your past and future support!