'Community-operated thrift store' in Marlborough to donate net earnings

·2 min read

May 21—MARLBOROUGH — A new nonprofit thrift shop set to open in early June in the former Homestead Bookshop building on Main Street plans to reinvest all of its net income in the community.

Deb Reynolds, the Marlborough resident leading the effort to open Homestead Thrift Shop, adjacent to Doug's Dogs and Marlborough Country Convenience, said the store will open June 2.

"One hundred percent of the net earnings will be turned back into the community," said Reynolds, who founded Penelope's Home Consignment in Keene in 1996 and sold the business about 10 years ago. "Each quarter we will be donating the profits for that quarter to various other nonprofits in town that serve our residents."

The shop, which will be overseen by a five-member board of directors, already has donation partnerships lined up with the Marlborough-based Kidz Cupboard, which provides breakfast and lunch for children experiencing food insecurity; the Monadnock Lions Club; several programs for seniors; and initiatives at the Frost Free Library, Reynolds added.

The idea for the shop was born last October, when Reynolds, a Lions Club member, helped with a community yard sale fundraiser for the group. The club raised $1,200 in four hours selling donated items in the parking lot of the former Piedra Fina restaurant, she said.

After that, Reynolds said Malaise Lindenfeld, a fellow Lions Club member who owns the Piedra Fina building and the former Homestead Bookshop, offered the bookstore space rent-free to the group. Reynolds then began recruiting volunteers from the club and her church, the Federated Church of Marlborough, before expanding it to the entire community.

"Basically now instead of strictly being tied to the church or to the Lions, which was the original plan, it has evolved into a community-operated thrift store," Reynolds said.

Over the past month or so, about 40 people have signed up to volunteer at the new thrift shop, including about eight people who have assisted with rehabbing the building, which has sat vacant since Homestead Bookshop closed in 2015. Renovations have included replacing the dark wood paneling with a fresh coat of creamy white paint, Reynolds added.

Homestead Thrift Shop, named after the old bookstore, will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations will be accepted during normal business hours.

Ultimately, Reynolds added, she hopes the shop will raise between $20,000 and $25,000 a year for local charities, while also having a positive environmental impact.

"I had a sense that this would be a very good ways to raise funds to help support our community, and also to keep items out of the landfill, basically recycle items instead of just having them trashed," she said.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.

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