Linda and Patrick Lampe, who operate the My Father’s House drop-in center for locals in need, expect to open the Worth Saving thrift store by Monday in the former location of Pat’s Place.
The Lampes have been working to prepare the new store since announcing in June they would open a thrift store in the location to benefit the My Father’s House nonprofit organization. The Lampes have been running Hollister Community Outreach/My Father’s House since the fall of 2015 at 910 Monterey St., and they formerly ran a street ministry as well.
The official name of the thrift store at 101 Fifth St. will be Worth Saving Mercantile & Thrift Store, but Linda Lampe said it will go by Worth Saving for short. It is the same location as the former Pat’s Place, which closed this spring after nearly a decade in business.
Lampe offered details on an upcoming opening of Worth Saving in an interview Tuesday with San Benito Live. The couple and their team of volunteers — many of them holdovers from the prior Community FoodBank-run Pat’s Place — are pushing for a Monday opening for part of the store and expect most of ready to go by Sept. 1, she said.
Lampe noted how the store will include a back-to-school section at the front along with a kids’ section. She plans to have the children’s section to accommodate families with kids who might otherwise have the tendency to run round in such a location.
“So I thought, I want this to be kid friendly, so we’ve made a whole children’s section,” Lampe said.
She mentioned that area will have a mural on the wall and carpet that resembles grass. She expects to put in a TV there for children’s videos and to host a storytime of some kind, too.
Lampe expressed thanks not only for the volunteers who will work in the store, but also several volunteers and donors who have helped them get the store ready for opening. She pointed out how Hollister Paint, Ace Hardware, Don Marcus from Marcus Building Systems and Lowe’s all helped out.
One of the challenges while getting the store established has been deciding what to do about used books. They can be a real space consumer in a retail environment, and the demand often doesn’t meet the supply if stores keep too many on hand. Lampe’s solution as a self-proclaimed book addict was to place bookcases throughout the store in various sections.
As for another space issue: Although Lampe is gracious toward all the locals wanting to donate merchandise right off the bat, and will be glad to take them, she wasn’t quite ready to take them in as of this week and estimated she can do so within two to three weeks.
She and Patrick have been so busy, to say the least, dealing with other preparation issues such as sprucing up the store and painting the front of the building.
“It’s got a really fresh new look to it,” she said.
One of those other changes was adding dressing rooms, so there are three in total now. Lampe said she had studied what people generally dislike about other thrift locations and realized people generally aren’t agreeable when items are sorted by size, don’t have prices, and the stores are too crowded and cluttered with items.
“So we tried to not put so much clutter and stuff out so it can be a pleasant experience,” Lampe said.
She also mentioned Worth Saving will have a soft opening in the days ahead, but there are plans for a grand opening at some point in September. She said she’s glad to have support from the Hollister Downtown Association and San Benito County Chamber of Commerce as well.
“I think it’s going to be a blessing for everybody,” she said.