Bernadette Thooft of Vesta loves going to garage sales.
“I’ve been going to them for a long time,” she said.
She has also discovered ways to access online auctions as a way to acquire more.
In other words, Thooft has a lot of stuff, and now she also has a way to share what she has acquired with others who may be looking for that one thing they have not been able to find anywhere else.
That venue is known as The Store, and it opened in Vesta Feb. 4.
Thooft said it was her husband’s idea to open The Store.
“I love to sell and buy,” she said, adding she has done both on the Internet and plans to keep doing that.
Now she has another way to get rid of some of the things she has collected over the years.
She admitted right now there is plenty of inventory to keep the store going for a while, but that doesn’t mean she is going to stop looking for more.
While the store includes a lot of what is known as thrift items, including everything from shoes and clothing to glassware and toys, The Store is not limited to those things.
The sign out front, which Thooft said was done by CE Signs and Designs in Lucan, says “Thrift and More.”
That “more” means a variety of grocery items from organic eggs to the necessities, such as bread and milk.
Several shelves are full of food items Thooft is offering for sale, and she said as time goes along she is going to stock those shelves based on what is in demand.
Thooft knows there are people in the community who need these things but can’t drive to another store to get them. Now they have the option right in town to get what they need.
Thooft admitted there are some of those impulse items in the store, too, because she knows those are things people like.
“I’ve already had people ask me to get things,” she said. “If they ask for it and then keep buying it I will keep it in stock.”
Thooft said the coolers she has in the store were another online auction item, and the counter just inside the front door was purchased via the Internet from an antique store in Lake Benton.
That counter, which Thooft said is from the 1800s, is one of the few things in the store which are not for sale.
The old counter gives her business that general store kind of feel, said Thooft, adding that is what she wants people to think of – a store that has a little bit of everything.
Page 2 of 2 - While the majority of what is on the shelves comes from Thooft’s collection, she added there is an option for people who want to sell larger items, such as furniture on consignment. Right now, though, there’s not much room.
The building where the store has been established was purchased by the Thoofts, and the space is currently being used not only for the inventory on the shelves but also for other inventory yet to be put out for sale.
Thooft said the store is intended to be family oriented, and a portion of the building has been established not only for her kids to enjoy but for others, too.
“Bring your kids,” she said. “They can play with mine or watch a movie while you are shopping.”
With a good assortment of clothing available for sale, Thooft felt the need to allow those who are hoping to buy items the chance to try them on before they buy them.
“We have a fitting room for people,” she said.
Thooft said there is always coffee on, and a microwave is available for those who would like to heat up one of the pre-packaged items she has for sale.
The building was gutted, and new sheetrock was installed. A few windows were also installed. The building where Thooft has her business is also right next door to the business her husband operates.
With land available next to the store, Thooft said there is the potential to expand the space, which means having even more for people to peruse and purchase.
Thooft, who used to do daycare, quit that when she and her husband, Matt, adopted two children – bringing the kid total to seven.
“Most of the time there are going to be kids here with me,” she said with a smile.
The store which is located just off TH19 is open Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursdays. Friday and Saturday hours vary.
“This is my kind of store,” she said, adding she hopes that will be the case for lots of others, too,