Former downtown bar ‘reNewed’ as a thrift store
Story and photo by Peter Fleck
A former Red Deer watering hole is being transformed into the city’s newest thrift store.
Projected to open sometime in April, the 12,500-square-foot reNew Thrift Store is situated across from the police station at the former site of the Cowboys Bar & Nightclub.
As the only downtown thrift store, reNew board member Darcy Guillemaud says, “We feel there will be a good market down here.”
With all profits staying in the community, Guillemaud explains the immediate goal is to help fund the Potter’s Hands soup kitchen and Lazarus House men’s discipleship program.
But as revenues grow, Guillemaud says, the store is looking to assist other initiatives to help “the less fortunate and the vulnerable” in Red Deer.
The building was acquired by Potter’s Hands Senior Pastor Stan Shalk this past summer with clean up, demolition and renovations beginning in the early fall. Working alongside paid staff are a number of volunteers.
Once the store opens, Guillemaud says there will continue to be a blend of paid staff and volunteer positions. This will include specific “training for people to get back into the workforce.”
Able to acquire valuable references for future employment, Guillemaud says, “It’s to give them their dignity back.”
A current priority is finding a full-time store manager. A complete job description, along with part-time staff openings and volunteer applications can be found at: www.renewthriftstore.org.
Donations are also being accepted at the back of the store at 4608 – 50 Ave. on weekdays from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Guillemaud explains reNew plans to carry the typical array of thrift store inventory with the exception of beds, couches and large appliances.
A big boon was the ability to acquire most of the required shelving and store fixtures from Sears as the retail chain closed down.
Wanting the store to represent renewal in every way possible, board member, Crystal Shalk, reports there have been several prayer meetings on site.
Right from the opening day, Shalk says, “We want people to know that this is a Christian place — to be able to feel that God is here.”