By Lauren Benn
THERE’S A new-concept store coming to Terrace and its philosophy is to be an eco-conscious social enterprise.
Pioneered by the Terrace and District Community Services Society, the store which will be located in the old garden centre on the former Terrace Co-op property on Greig Ave. will be selling items refurbished.
These will be refurbished items that would otherwise have been tossed into the trash.
But the key here is not to turn a profit, at least one that will line the pockets of a private interest. Instead, that money will go to getting people in the community job ready, and the refurbishing work to be done there will teach essential skills as well.
“We want to invest in people,” said Casey Eys, who works for the community services society and who is managing the project. “We want to use that as a vehicle for people to get retrained or reintroduced into the workforce.”
The COReStore, as it is named, stands for Community Oriented Recyclable Store. It will operate on a volunteer basis for everything from management to refurbishing work to sales.
“Anybody is welcome to show up and lend a hand,” said Eys.
The store will focus primarily on accepting materials like construction waste that can be reused, reusable appliances, fixtures, furniture and larger household items.
“What we want to avoid is turning it into a garage sale,” said Eys, who clarified that there are many reusable products that need a little TLC but which are now thrown away because there’s no other place for them to go.
And it’s the TLC part that will see community members – employed or not – using or learning skills that can be applied in a variety of contexts.
Eys pointed out that when it comes to employment, gaps in a resume can raise flags to employers and that the COReStore is a great way to fill space and show future employers one’s motivation to be engaged.
Also, money raised will be dedicated to training people who require it elsewhere — and the formula for deciding who gets help will depend on need and motivation, said Eys.
Before the store can open, which is estimated to be in late May or in early June, improvements to the building will be need.
The community services society will be providing seed money, which will be spent getting the building move-in ready.
A trailer will be brought in to act as an office and washroom facilities will be provided.
The City of Terrace will be renting the building for $1 a year.
The building’s most recent inhabitants, city firefighters who trained inside, have moved out their equipment.
Repairs needed include a new stairway into the building, some electrical, flooring and drywall fixing, and possibly some roof repair.
“It’s not a lot at this point,” said Kwiatkowski. “We’re keeping it fairly simple.”
For the store, Eys said details as to what exactly will be accepted and how are being hammered out, but ideas include a possible pickup service.
Cash donations to go toward job and life skills training for those who will be working at the store will also be accepted, he said.