Dozens of people attended the grand opening of the second location of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission thrift store on Saturday (Sept. 11).
Located at 1747 Ross Road in West Kelowna, the thrift store’s doors swung open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Mayor Gord Milsom and the store’s staff.
“We’re ecstatic. We’ve all worked very hard and very long to make this accomplished,” said Nicolette Roether, the assistant manager of the West Kelowna Gospel Mission location.
As customers trickled in, they were greeted with goodie bags full of snacks and treats from staff members. The original Gospel Mission store, located at 259 Leon Avenue in Kelowna, launched 43 years ago. According to Roether, discussion around launching a second Gospel Mission location dates back to January of this year.
“West Kelowna is the space that we were available to move into, and the community to support,” she said.
Although smaller than its predecessor, the West Kelowna location has all the makings of a quintessential thrift store: reasonably-priced clothes, furniture, household items, jewelry, books and more.
“We’ve been feeling the need for a second store for a long time. We want to give back to the community and provide a space for people that need it,” said Roether.
Being able to fill that need, she said, is what she said she’s looking forward to the most.
“The highlight of my job is when someone comes in, pulls me aside and says, ‘Hey, I need this.’ I say, ‘Great, how can I help you? What can I do for you?’,” she said.
With the store finally open, she said that “the dream is real.”
“We’re so happy to be here, continuing to stretch out our hand and help people,” she said.
West Kelowna’s Gospel Mission location is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.