The new refurbished furniture shop beside George Little House on Greig Ave. quietly opened its door this month, and the space is already packed with items freshly donated and ready for purchase.
The eco-conscious store, housed in the old garden centre on the former Co-op property, is something of a social enterprise. The store takes donations – furniture, appliances, construction waste, larger household items – in from the community and, with the help of handy volunteers, fixes and readies them for resale, before placing the items in the modest showroom at the front of the room.
“We’re trying to keep prices down,” said organizer Aaron GreyCloud, pointing out end tables priced at 15 dollars for the pair and a gently-used recliner for 40 dollars.
The goal is to keep things like this out of the landfill, he said. “There’s so much stuff out there that shouldn’t be there.”
The store, named the CoreStore, which stands for Community Oriented Recycling Store, is run solely by volunteers. The project was pioneered by the Terrace and District Community Services Society, so some volunteers come through there. People in the work experience program, and some doing community service hours, also work in the shop, according to organizers Casey Eys and GreyCloud.
But more volunteers are needed, said Eys. Especially people who are handy and “who can work as mentors for people looking to gain employment skills,” he said, noting retirees would be perfect. “People who can teach transition skills, essential skills, work ethic.”
But the storefront isn’t just about recycling used furniture and teaching skills to members of the community, it’s also set to become something of a hub used to coordinate recycling endeavours in the area.
“[We’re also going to] act as a resource to redirect people to other recycling services they may not know about,” Eys said. There will be a rack with information on where to take bottles, dead electronics, oil, paint. They’re also in discussions to possibly take over as the depot for CFL and Fluorescent tubes.
“We really hope to find a more appropriate depot for lighting products, as it is not a good fit for Public Works,” said city sustainability coordinator Tara Irwin. “The CoreStore might prove to be a good location for this, but we have not confirmed anything to this end.”
The group has been working on the project for over two months. They’ve had many items donated for some time, but a major clean-up of the building, rented from the city for one dollar a year and used as a firefighter training demo space, was needed before they could operate. While the store is open for business, 10 – 4 Tues. through Fri., and Sat. by appointment, renos are still ongoing. The group has sourced a counter from Cyberscreen, which is shutting down, and once they have it installed they will be able to accept payment by debit and credit card.
“We’ll be holding a grand opening [soon],” said Eys. “Once we’re grand enough to open.”