Archive for the ‘Shop Reviews’ Category

Newport Thrift Shop

March 7, 2010

37 John Stark Hwy
Newport, NH 03773
603 863-1637
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10-4

This shop has been an institution in Newport, NH for over 30 years. Run entirely on donations and volunteerism, this shop is organized and welcoming.  Now residing in the Newport Shopping Plaza, The Newport Thrift Shop is easy to find with plenty of parking.

Volunteers from the Newport Service Organization (NSO) staff the shop. Funds raised from their efforts go towards various health-related organizations and college scholarships. The community has been so supportive in return that two years ago the store was able to double its space to accommodate the generosity.

The store has one small and two large rooms. When you walk in the store there is a shelf of fine and interesting dishware to the left. Straight ahead at the center of the first large room is the check-out. There you can find out if there is a sale that day. As you continue to the left and around the perimeter, you will find small appliances, men’s shoes and clothing, sportswear, jeans, craft items linens, books and housewares. At the back of the first room is the entrance to the small but varied children’s section.

The second large room is to the right as you walk in the store. I would call this the women’s department. It has a wide assortment of women’s clothes, shoes, and accessories including plus sizes, maternity and formal wear.

The prices are fair and reasonable. Except for the beginning of the season, the store will have sales throughout the year, so you can get a great deal at any time. The best deal time is when they have their end-of-the-season bag sale. This happens twice a year in March and September. Then the store closes for a week so the volunteers can restock and redecorate for the coming season. When they reopen, the prices will be at their highest – but they are still quite reasonable. This is the time when the hidden treasures come out of the back room and one of my favorite times to visit.

The Newport Thrift Shop is one of the best of the classic hometown thrift shops. It has variety, friendly staff, lots of space, and good deals. Check it out next time you are passing through, and know that you are also giving back to the community as you shop.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

January 17, 2010

Shop Review:      65 Roses
                             249 Rt 10 north
                             Grantham, NH 03753
                             603  863-3888

Tucked in a tiny shopping center in Grantham, NH in the shadow of interstate 89 is an example of a thrift shop that gets everything right. The not-too-fancy but likeable style of 65 Roses affords a refreshing shopping experience.

Sara Carr started this store in April 2007 to raise funds for the Cysitic Fibrosis Foundation. Her son has the disease and, when he was little, told his mom he had “sixtyfive roses.” Hence, a great name for a shop dedicated to a great cause.

This shop wins high marks for its variety and layout.  As you wander the one large and two small rooms, you will consistantly find a good selection of quality clothing, shoes and housewares. But they also have furniture, books, linens, videos and baby items. All of this is organized in such a way that carries you comfortably from room to room. Be aware, though, that because 65 Roses accepts a wide variety of items, the selection will vary with every visit.

This store employs unit pricing for adult and kids clothing. One must look high on the wall to see the printed list of items (pants, sweaters, shoes, etc.) with a reasonable price for each. The linens, housewares, furniture and other unique items are individually (and also reasonably) priced. Noteworthy are the book prices: hardcover books are 50 cents each. Paperbacks are ten for one dollar. Yes, that’s right. 10/$1. All day, everyday.

This store will have occassional, but not regular, sales. The sales are advertised in the local weekly shopper’s publication. Unfortunately, this can result in learning of the sale after it has started. So, if you enjoy being the first in line for a sale, get the inside scoop by giving the store a call during their business hours.

Besides being attractive and having a variety of great stuff, this shop has a special appeal. The devotion of a mom to her son is woven through every aspect of this store. With each donation, each customer and each purchase, that energy spreads and is shared by all who visit this fine shop.

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

December 16, 2009

I live in a charming small town with a charming small-town thrift shop. The shop is housed, rent-free, in the former town hall building that is over 100 years old. It is run by volunteers from the town’s senior citizens organization. The clothes come from residents who bring their bagged, no-longer-needed clothing to the transfer station (read: town dump). The town employees take the donated bags of clothes to the Old Town Hall for the ladies to sort and display. These volunteer efforts give to the shopper an incredibly good deal. You can fill up a bag for $3.00. If it goes over the top, it’s $4.00. This shop truly represents the spirit of community service and volunteerism.

 If you didn’t live in this town, you might not think the shop was so charming. First of all, it’s only open six hours per week; on three different days for two hours at a time. Inside, there are two small rooms and, given the age and general lack of upkeep of the building, it is admittedly dark and dingy. There is no dressing room or bathroom (hence the short hours). And in the winter, it is cold.

Because of the odd hours, I can’t shop there on impulse, so I have to remember their hours and plan a visit, but it is worth it. The volunteers obviously try their best to display the merchandise attractively. Everything is organized, well spaced and clean. The volunteer for the shift is always friendly and helpful. Not to mention the great prices. When I do make it in to the shop, It is easy for me to overlook the negative impression this shop may initially project and enjoy the experience.  

 I’m proud of our little thrift shop, proud of the town’s donation of space and manpower, proud of the residents who contribute, and I’m especially proud of the senior citizens who choose to spend their time to keep it running. It is that spirit of cooperation that allows me and the other shoppers the ability to fill a bag full of shirts and shoes and pants for our families and not break the bank.