Saturday August 20, 2022 | SOOKE, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
About 80 people showed up today outside the recently-relocated Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) Thrift Shop to celebrate the expansion of the social enterprise that brings in a significant level of funds for social programs in the Sooke area.
As Island Social Trends lead with in August 15 pre-event coverage of this store, the SFRS Thrift Shop is “the little shop that could!” From cramped beginnings in a West Coast Road (Highway 14) storefront with minimal parking, the Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) Thrift Shop relocated on July 9 to the former Sooke Library location at 2065 Anna Marie Road. [See background coverage on SFRS Thrift Shop, August 15, 2022]
The new location in Sooke town centre has a larger retail floorspace, sorting area, and lunchroom for volunteers. There is now plenty of parking (though even that already does overflow on busy shopping days).
Nicky & Bev:
Today a brief introduction was made by SFRS Executive Director Nicky Logins, then handing it over to thrift shop retail supervisor Bev Lewis who has spearheaded and grown the venture since 2016. A quick ribbon cutting — with Sooke Mayor Maja Tait’s hands on the oversized scissors — and then it was hot dogs, cake and fashion show to follow during the three-hour event (11 am to 2 pm) today.
Oh, and shopping too! Lewis always handles the till. Other than two other cashiers for about nine hours per week, the rest of the shop is operated by volunteers.
The primary intended customer base is people on low-income including seniors. Bargain-hunters and resellers also pop in on a regular basis, Lewis explained last week.
Today Logins said her “first and biggest thank you is to members of the T’Sou-ke Nation” who we are privileged to have as hosts on this land and where this store is located”.
Lewis thanked a list of contributors, and called the new location “bigger and brighter”, compared to the one left behind on West Coast Road. “It’s more inviting, and more open space,” the retail supervisor said. She said the thrift shore as a social enterprise “has been a labour of love for everyone involved”.
“We are developing a strong reputation within the thirfting community,” said Lewis to the crowd, who a few times gave her rounds of applause outdoors in the sun. Customers are being attracted from all over Vancouver Island, she pointed out.
Community, customers and donors are served better at the new location, Lewis said at the microphone.
Mayor Maja Tait congratulated “so many volunteers and having them able to gather to do the great work, it just lifts everyone in the community”. She noted that programs are supported by SFRS Thrift Shop revenues, saying the programs are helping support people who were impacted by the pandemic “and the residual impacts of that”.
Also attending today in the crowd were District of Sooke Councillors Jeff Bateman and Ebony Logins, retired Sooke RCMP Detachment Commander Steve Wright, and other local community leaders including Mark Ziegler and Sandy Jarvis.
Regular hours & special days:
The SFRS Thrift Shop is open four days a week — Wednesday through Saturday — from 10 am to 3 pm.
Donations are accepted on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm, using the drive-through around the back of the building.
Half-price days will be held on the 15th and last day of each month. Seniors’ day is held on the third to last business day of the month.
Purchases can be made with Visa, MasterCard, Interac (debit) or cash.
In BC a social enterprise is a form of business that directs its profits/revenue toward a social, cultural or environmental. purpose. It is not a non-profit.
SFRS Executive Director Nicky Logins said long ago that she first learned about the social enterprise business format in 2016 upon reading an article by Island Social Trends (at that time still called West Shore Voice News). That’s just one example of how media services contribute to their communities in often unseen, subtle or long-term ways.
More on how to set up a business in BC.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR, has been reporting on the news of Sooke since 2008.
Ms Brooke’s series of publications started with the colour glossy quarterly MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, which morphed into the weekly grayscale print newspaper Sooke Voice News 2011-2013. In 2014, the publication launched more broadly as a weekly colour print/PDF newspaper West Shore Voice News 2014-2020. That led in mid-2020 to the fully online daily news portal Island Social Trends at islandsocialtrends.ca which covers news of the Greater Victoria area and South Vancouver Island region.
The Island Social Trends office has been based in Langford, BC since 2017 as we cover the full south Vancouver Island region from a more central location..
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