New Hope Bargain Shoppe opening soon

The end of a five-and-dime in downtown Jefferson has made way for a new resale shop that supports a charitable cause.

Lisa Willis, manager of the New Hope Bargain Shoppe in Jefferson, said the store will have a soft opening next week. An official ribbon cutting will be done at a later date.

For Cindy Beck, retail manager for New Hope Village, the closing of Ben Franklin was welcome news. The New Hope Bargain Shoppes raise funds to supplement the budget of New Hope Village, a non-profit organization that works to enrich the lives of persons with disabilities. Bargain Shoppes depend on volunteers and donated items.

A few years ago Beck identified Jefferson as a town that would likely provide both. She looked at eight different locations, but none had enough space. “I was in Jefferson on a Sunday and saw Ben Franklin was closing. I called Bob and Lori (Smith, owners of Ben Franklin) on Monday, and they were happy to work with me,” Beck said.

The Smiths still own the building and still operate Tech Zone in the south part of the building.

Lisa Willis, manager

Local manager Willis is finding that Beck was right in her assessment of Jefferson. “The donations have been unreal,” she said, noting that donations are coming in daily and the shelves are filling. She’s gotten new volunteers, too.

Some of the volunteers are her acquaintances; others are looking for something new or different.

Willis will accept donations any time. Items should be good, sellable, clean and in working order. She can’t accept large items like washers or dryers, console stereos, waterbeds, computers, fluorescent light bulbs, and lumber, and other items.

But, not all items at a New Hope Bargain Shoppe are second hand. Graphic Edge of Carroll is a generous supporter of New Hope’s mission and donates dozens of over-runs, misprints, and many non-imprinted items. Other employers have donated logo-less items they ordered for corporate wear or promotions.

Ben Franklin shoppers will at first see items not sold during the close-out sale, including picture mats, holiday gift bags, notions and trim, and more.

Willis is keeping the “holiday room” in the basement. Shoppers looking for holiday décor will find it year-round. New Hope is looking for funding for a stair crawler to make the basement more accessible.

The Bargain Shoppe will draw shoppers of all ages and at all income levels. “Some people have a need for more affordable items, but others do it by choice. They’re looking for something unique, or they just life to find a bargain. We get collectors who are looking for things to repurpose, too,” Willis said.

New Hope’s “flagship” store is in Carroll. Other locations are in Coon Rapids, Manning and Perry. Willis has managed the Perry store for 3-1/2 years, and will manage both stores.


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