Habitat for Humanity Muskoka opens second ReStore
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Kevin Manley and Jane Pierre are ready to assist customers at the new Muskoka ReStore, located in the old Hidden Hitch building at 3 Crescent Road.
HUNTSVILLE - Helping others is always a noble gesture.
But if you were to get a good price on something you need or want in the process that is all that much better.
With this in mind, the Huntsville region is now home to the second ReStore outlet in Muskoka. The new business opened its doors on Aug. 14, at the former home of the Hidden Hitch production plant at 3 Crescent Road.
The two Muskoka stores are under the operation of Habitat for Humanity Muskoka, a non-profit, multifaith-based housing program dedicated to eliminating housing poverty from the world.
The organization has built 12 homes for needy families in the area since 2003, with some of the profits generated at its Bracebridge ReStore, used to help build the homes.
The south Muskoka ReStore is the organization’s third largest in Canada. It opened in 2006 and shoppers can buy donated, slightly used furniture, appliances, building materials and other household items.
Ellen Frood, the executive director for Habitat for Humanity, said the decision to open a second store was based on feedback from its customers at the Bracebridge outlet. “We wanted to serve a wider area and we have a successful store in Bracebridge. We had surveyed people for two years who came into the south Muskoka store and part of what we collected was postal codes, to see where people were coming from. What we found was that only about four per cent were coming from the Huntsville area and further north. That was a small percentage. We recognize that some people cannot afford new furniture or building supplies. So we decided to offer people in the Huntsville area our services and fill a niche in the community.”
Armed with an $119,200 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in January, Habitat officials moved forward with their plans to open the Huntsville store, using the money to buy equipment necessary to properly run the business.
“It will be used to assist with the first three months of operating costs for the store, and we bought a truck and a forklift,” according to Frood.
Frood said the store employs two full-time and one part-time person and is aided by the assistance of volunteers. She said that the plans are for the store to serve people from north Muskoka and into the Parry Sound region and that depending on how things go, Habitat may one day look seriously at putting a ReStore in Parry Sound.
“We have been successful in securing from FedNor funding through their intern grant program for an economic development, to analyze sales, looking at ways to increase profitability, generate more revenue and other initiatives.”
Habitat for Humanity Muskoka is planning to host a grand opening celebration for the Huntsville store sometime next month.