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New to You thrift shop making a move to uptown New West

Charity thrift store raises funds for Royal Columbian Hospital
RCH Thrift Shop 2
The Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary's New To You Thrift Shop is on the move from this longtime Sapperton site to a new location in uptown New West. North Root Cannabis will be opening in this space.

The New to You thrift store is making a move to uptown New Westminster.

After years on East Columbia Street, the charity thrift shop has signed a lease for a space at 706 Sixth Ave., a space formerly occupied by Denny’s Farm Market. The thrift store’s volunteers have been busy packing up the store in preparation for its Aug. 30 moving day.

“I think it’s really exciting. It should give us a better opportunity to make even more money for the hospital,” said Lindy Kirkwood, president of the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary. “We are really excited. We just want people to come and check us out once we are open, and bring us donations and shop.”

According to Kirkwood, the new location is about 850 square feet larger than Sapperton space. The auxiliary is hoping the new location near the New Westminster Public Library, Royal City Centre and Sixth Avenue businesses will generate more foot traffic for the shop.

“We are counting on it,” she said. “Our rent is a lot more.”

The thrift store is moving out of its longtime home on East Columbia Street to make way for the North Roots Cannabis store. The thrift store had been paying below market rents at that location and had been operating on a month-to-month lease.

The New to You thrift store is expected to open at its new location in late September.

“It’s a great space. The location, for us, is just wonderful,” Kirkwood said. “We have signed a five-year lease, with an option for another term.”

Kirkwood said real estate broker Don Ellis was a “godsend” in helping the non-profit negotiate a lease.

“It’s amazing; you could never do this without help – the whole lease negotiation thing is absolutely crazy, mindboggling,” she said. “The second lease I read was 54 pages long and it’s just filled with legalese. You don’t understand everything. So Don has guided us every step of the way. I want to give him big kudos.”

The auxiliary welcomes donations (once the new store opens) and volunteers for the thrift store. Anyone interested in volunteering at the store can fill out an application at www.tinyurl.com/RCHVolunteer or call the store at 604-515-4815.

In April, New Westminster city council approved a rezoning application that allows  North Roots Cannabis to open at 416 East Columbia St. North Roots Cannabis has offered to help New to You move to its new location and to pay its security deposit.

The Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary raises money for RCH at the thrift store, as well as the lottery booth, the gift shop and a book cart at the hospital. Between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, the group raised $165,000 for the hospital, with the thrift store contributing around 40%.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca

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