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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Plans forming for a new thrift store


Last updated 6/27/2022 at 3:26am | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Nancy Neufeld talks about the plans for the store at the Community Task Force meeting

Shafter shoppers may be getting a new option – with budget prices.

Listen to Shafter and the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Shop Network plan to open a new thrift store in town, according to Nancy Neufeld and Katie Wiebe, organizers of the business.

They revealed the project at last week's Community Task Force meeting.

Customers of the thrift shop would get quality products at discount prices. Wiebe said that the store would focus on clothing and household products, since furniture takes up a lot of space.

"We are planning to have a bulletin board on site that would be able to connect people who are looking for specific items," said Neufeld. "If someone wants to get rid of a couch, they could advertise it on the board, and it would be there for someone who is possibly looking for an inexpensive piece of furniture. We could help them connect in that way."

They have looked for property in the area that would suit their needs. "We need a space with a lot of room, a large bay that would be good for deliveries, and window space to display items," Wiebe said.

Wiebe has some experience in this line, with being a major player in the city of Shafter's Christmas Store, which sells donated Christmas toys at a big discount to those families in need. This gives the parents the satisfaction of buying their children their gifts instead of getting them for free.

"This store would serve a similar purpose, giving those who may need a little assistance the chance to shop for their own items at a discount price. The products would be good, quality products, just at a discount price," Wiebe said.

According to Neufeld and Wiebe, the purpose of the store would be to offer a friendly and caring presence in the community, as well as providing a place for people to donate items that can be sold to the community.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

A thrift store similar to this shop in Fresno is planned for Shafter.

The plan is to open the store within the next 18 months. Within five years, they plan to have the store in a position to be financially stable, with the ability to make quarterly contributions to work of the West Coast MCC, with at least 10% of the funds staying here.

Within the next year, the Steering Committee will raise start-up funding for the store, find a store manager and prep the storefront space and begin collecting donations. They plan on recruiting volunteers and part-time staff, with the goal of opening the store within a year and a half.

The cost to open the doors is around $55,000, with the monthly cost to run it expected to be around $12,000.

Wiebe and Neufeld believe that the store would be a great asset for the community, providing a place to help people who may need a little help. "We believe that this will be a blessing for the committee, the city of Shafter, and the shoppers, staff and volunteers involved. This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire community."


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