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New To You ready to celebrate 20 years of business while teaching life skills


TRURO – There aren't many who come through the doors that Jacqueline Cook doesn't know.

And if she doesn't know you, she'll soon change that as she goes about her work at the Colchester Community Workshops' New To You store.

"I'd never done this before, working at a store," said Cook. "But I love working here. I get to get out of my apartment and I get to meet people I don't know. I've made lots of friends."

Cook has been working at the store since August, and she will be among the people helping celebrate the store's 20th anniversary in February.

"Jacqueline is a social butterfly with all the customers," said Victoria Lomond, one of three instructors at the thrift store. "If you walk through that door and she doesn't know you, she's quick to introduce herself. We're a very friendly store."

Two decades ago, New To You began as a small thrift store operating one day a week.

Susan McCallum, operations manager, remembers that first day, using donated space in the Patillo Building on Prince Street.

"We made $50 and we thought, ‘this is great, it's going to be extra revenue for us.'"

The original concept of the store, McCallum says, was to teach clients skills they could transform into their lives at home and in the community. That it was going to be a revenue stream was icing on the cake.

"There were some concerns the community couldn't handle another thrift store, but the Salvation Army was so good about it. They realized the two stores were serving different niches," she said.

It was 11 years ago in February the store celebrated a grand opening in their current location on Arthur Street.

David Bell, another client, drove by the day of the celebration.

"I thought, ‘wow, a grand opening with the new location.' Who knew that years later I would be working here."

Bell has spent the past four years working in receiving at the store, including a paid position over the weekend, but he made his way inside a couple of months ago.

"I really like working with the public," said Bell. "And I like coming into a friendly environment. A lot of people go to work with a scowl, but when I come to work and look around, I know it's going to be a great day."

McCallum said the clients working at the store are involved in every aspect - receiving, pricing, assisting the public, and even working the cash register.

In opening the store, the operations manager said the real advantage they saw was the public interaction.

"People knew the workshops was a place for people to go with intellectual disabilities, and by coming to the store they were able to see the clients are more than capable of doing these things. It opened a lot of eyes and has been one of the biggest benefits of opening the New To You," she said.

Plans are underway for the staff, clients and public to celebrate the 20th anniversary with a customer appreciation day, soon to be announced, as well as draws and cake.

Along with the store on Arthur Street, the New To You has been hosting weekly auctions on Facebook. Search for and ‘like' "Auction Thingz Truro" to see the items currently taking bids. Items can also be viewed at the store.

TIMELINE

LATE 1960s – The workshop was initially established as The Butler Centre

MID 1980s – The Butler Centre joined with JOBS Unlimited to form Colchester Community Workshops and moved to the Patillo building on Prince Street

February 1996 – The New To You store opened on Prince Street, operating on Fridays

1999 – Colchester Community Workshops Foundation was formed to spearhead a capitol campaign for a new building

February 2005 – The workshop and New To You store opened its new doors in Rotary House, its current location at 168 Arthur St.

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

 

 

And if she doesn't know you, she'll soon change that as she goes about her work at the Colchester Community Workshops' New To You store.

"I'd never done this before, working at a store," said Cook. "But I love working here. I get to get out of my apartment and I get to meet people I don't know. I've made lots of friends."

Cook has been working at the store since August, and she will be among the people helping celebrate the store's 20th anniversary in February.

"Jacqueline is a social butterfly with all the customers," said Victoria Lomond, one of three instructors at the thrift store. "If you walk through that door and she doesn't know you, she's quick to introduce herself. We're a very friendly store."

Two decades ago, New To You began as a small thrift store operating one day a week.

Susan McCallum, operations manager, remembers that first day, using donated space in the Patillo Building on Prince Street.

"We made $50 and we thought, ‘this is great, it's going to be extra revenue for us.'"

The original concept of the store, McCallum says, was to teach clients skills they could transform into their lives at home and in the community. That it was going to be a revenue stream was icing on the cake.

"There were some concerns the community couldn't handle another thrift store, but the Salvation Army was so good about it. They realized the two stores were serving different niches," she said.

It was 11 years ago in February the store celebrated a grand opening in their current location on Arthur Street.

David Bell, another client, drove by the day of the celebration.

"I thought, ‘wow, a grand opening with the new location.' Who knew that years later I would be working here."

Bell has spent the past four years working in receiving at the store, including a paid position over the weekend, but he made his way inside a couple of months ago.

"I really like working with the public," said Bell. "And I like coming into a friendly environment. A lot of people go to work with a scowl, but when I come to work and look around, I know it's going to be a great day."

McCallum said the clients working at the store are involved in every aspect - receiving, pricing, assisting the public, and even working the cash register.

In opening the store, the operations manager said the real advantage they saw was the public interaction.

"People knew the workshops was a place for people to go with intellectual disabilities, and by coming to the store they were able to see the clients are more than capable of doing these things. It opened a lot of eyes and has been one of the biggest benefits of opening the New To You," she said.

Plans are underway for the staff, clients and public to celebrate the 20th anniversary with a customer appreciation day, soon to be announced, as well as draws and cake.

Along with the store on Arthur Street, the New To You has been hosting weekly auctions on Facebook. Search for and ‘like' "Auction Thingz Truro" to see the items currently taking bids. Items can also be viewed at the store.

TIMELINE

LATE 1960s – The workshop was initially established as The Butler Centre

MID 1980s – The Butler Centre joined with JOBS Unlimited to form Colchester Community Workshops and moved to the Patillo building on Prince Street

February 1996 – The New To You store opened on Prince Street, operating on Fridays

1999 – Colchester Community Workshops Foundation was formed to spearhead a capitol campaign for a new building

February 2005 – The workshop and New To You store opened its new doors in Rotary House, its current location at 168 Arthur St.

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

 

 

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