Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nonprofit opens store

BY COLBY FRAZIER
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER

Think thrift store, only bigger. And instead of clothes, hats, neckties and wine glasses, one can choose from double-pane windows, doors adorned with stained glass, nails, toilets and sinks.
Home improvement items like these are the bread and butter of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, which sells new and used construction material that in another era may well have been considered junk.

But as costs continue to soar for consumer products and the number of people discovering the advantages of reusing, reducing and recycling multiplies, the ReStore, with its 5,000 square feet of construction materials, seems an obvious stop for anyone in the midst of a home improvement project.
And if bargains and saving the earth aren’t enough to pique one’s interest, the profits generated by the ReStore will be used to support Habitat for Humanity’s primary cause, building homes for people in need.
“It’s a win, win situation,” said Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett, who attended a ribbon cutting for ReStore yesterday. “I can’t think of a better way to reuse products that might end up in [the Tajiguas Landfill].”
The ReStore, located at 6725 Hollister Ave., is one of 200 stores owned by Habitat for Humanity across the country. The primary mission of the stores is to generate funds for its home building projects.
Joyce McCullough, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of south Santa Barbara County, said it’s unlikely the Goleta store will be able to completely fund local projects due to the high costs of land, but it will help.
Angelique Davis, director of development for Habitat for Humanity, said contractors and other businesses involved in construction or demolition projects have donated the majority of the items currently lining the shelves at ReStore.
And while contractors will likely continue to be large donors to ReStore, McCullough said anyone is welcome to see if the store is interested in the products they have.
While there is no set guideline for what types of materials qualify, Davis said she hopes the store will be continually stocked with “nice” things.
“We want people to be proud to own the items they buy here,” she said. “We really need useable items.”
While ReStore carries many products found at the hardware store, it does not carry lumber.
McCullough said the store’s conditional use permit with the City of Goleta doesn’t allow for outside storage.
Many present at the ribbon cutting said they’d already purchased items from the store for their homes. A consistent compliment from customers, most of who up to this point are on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity, is the affordable price of items like sinks and toilets.
McCullough said a new item at ReStore will generally be priced 50 percent below regular retail price. For a used item, she said one could expect to pay about 25 percent of retail price.
If a new toilet on display at the store yesterday is an indicator, McCullough is right. A piece of Blue Duct tape on the toilet said it was $45. A similar looking white, American Standard Cadet 3 toilet at Home Depot cost $109, according to the store’s Web site.
Mayor Bennett said the store would have come in handy when he demolished a home in Goleta in 2004. It became clear to the mayor such a store was needed after several people approached him seeking appliances and even the toilet.
“People came to me based on word of mouth,” he said.
During the ribbon cutting, Bennett said he was proud to have ReStore located in Goleta. He lauded the city for processing Habitat for Humanity’s business permits in a timely fashion.
McCullough said the city also waved a processing fee of more than $2,000 to apply for commercial designation in an industrial zone.
Christine Garvey, a Habitat for Humanity board member, said she has purchased several crystal chandeliers from ReStore as well as an entire cabinet set for the kitchen in her guesthouse.
And if you go to the ReStore grand opening this Saturday, you might find Garvey’s former front door for sale.
“I stroll through here every week,” she said. “I’m an all around habitat woman. It’s part of the sustainable society we want to evolve into.”
The grand opening runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ReStore will be open Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone interested in donating can contact 692-2226, or visit www.sbrestore.org.

1 comment:

Bull said...

They have some great stuff at the ReStore. I went to the ReStore a fwe weeks ago when one of my ceiling light fixtures burnt up and found a beautiful artistic glass dome fixture for $10. I'm sure a similar model at home depot would run at least $50. A must see if you need some repairs done. Just don't buy all the interior doors as I need to replace a few doors in my house.