During the good driving weather, my friend and I go for little daytrips, usually within 50km. from home. These trips are mostly unplanned – we just head out, deciding once we’re in the car which direction we’ll go. Because we have no agenda, we’re free to stop any place that catches our eye and with that we’ve come across some really neat places. We’ve picnicked in gorgeous small parks, including an outstanding one which is privately owned and maintained, yet open to the public; we’ve discovered small town, unadvertised and mostly unknown Art Galleries and Museums; we’ve found really unique Gift and Craft Shops and we’ve spent hours browsing in used Book Stores that cater to specific genres. Best of all, we’ve found some really terrificThrift Stores.
We rate all of these places – anything that gets an A is a for sure return or even a special trip. B is a return if we are in the neighbourhood and have time and anything less we just write off and don’t bother with again. So we were pretty excited to discover the best Thrift Store of all, earning our rating of A+, right in our own backyard.
Its the Bibles for Missions (BfM) Thrift Store. These Christian-based stores are expanding, especially across Ontario and we’re just lucky enough that one opened in our area. Other than the one paid manager, this store is staffed by volunteers who are just the friendliest, most helpful people. They are also committed. Talking to one of them, I commented on the cleanliness of the store and she told me part of the reason was because each volunteer is responsible for a specific area and they’re expected to come in an hour ahead of opening to make sure their area is clean. This shows, because everything just sparkles.
Now I love Thrift store shopping – its like being on a treasure hunt, you just never know what prize you’ll uncover and over the years, I’ve found quite a few. But the first time I went into this store, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. They have just about everything you could want – clothes naturally, but also paintings, glassware, housewares, linens, sport equipment, good quality furniture, books and so much more. Every item on the floor is very clean, in great condition and clearly labeled. As you can see below, a lot of the furniture is displayed as room settings.
I do retail shopping because I have to – I do Thrift store shopping because its fun. It has a completely different feel to it than retail shopping. Its friendlier and more relaxed with volunteers and customers stopping to chat. I’ll wager that you see many more smiles at a well-run Thrift store than you ever would at WalMart. Its not unusual for a customer to ask your opinion about a purchase they’re considering or to discuss an item you’re looking at. This kind of friendly interaction just doesn’t happen in the standard retail environment. BfM Thrift stores – enjoy the experience.