Former Acklands-Grainger building purchased: Food Bank, thrift store raising money for new home

December 4, 2017, 7:50 am
Kara Kinna

The former Acklands Grainger building, above, will be the new home of the Moosomin and District Food Bank and Thrift Store.

Moosomin’s food bank and thrift store are on the move.

The food bank and thrift store will move from their Main Street location to the former Acklands-Grainger building on Gordon Street in the new year.

The organization that runs the food bank and thrift store has started fundraising for the purchase and renovation of the new building.

Lori Shepherd, the president of organization that runs the food bank and thrift store, says the board has been looking for a new home for the food bank and thrift store for about two years.

“Our current building is showing its age and is in need of major roof, foundation and flooring repairs,” she says. “The board has been actively looking for a new home for close to two years.

“The Acklands-Grainger building showed very well. The roomy, well lit interior and great finished exterior made a great impression.”

Shepherd says two inspections were carried out of the building with no major problems reported. “We felt it was the right move and fit for our needs,” she says.

With that, the board decided to move ahead with the purchase of the building.

“We are extremely pleased to have bought the building for just under $300,000,” says Shepherd. “With negotiations by our buyer, a $20,000 donation by Acklands-Grainger was generously donated back.”

Shepherd says they couldn’t be more thrilled with their new location.

“This is an exciting venture for us to undertake. We are thrilled and looking forward to a fresh start,” she says.

The thrift store and food bank will both be located in the one building. Shepherd says many things about the space are ideal for both stores.

“We will now have 6,000 square feet compared to 5,000 with our two current buildings,” she says. “It will be a bonus to have good-sized windows and great lighting, up-to-date heating and cooling units, lots of shelving and display space.”

She says the new building will also provide high ceilings, and lots of counter space.

They will be able to configure the space as needed and plans are already underway to begin interior renovations.

“Ideally we will get started with renovations in late December for a move in mid winter,” she says.

“All board members are encouraged to come up with redesign ideas and wish lists. The first priority is to expand the retail space by moving a wall back. It’s critical that we incorporate the food bank in our design to maintain privacy for our clients,” she says.

The additional space will allow for some added services.

“The board is prepared for our thrift store to receive and sell gently used furniture—with the exception of mattresses and appliances,” says Shepherd.

“The staff have been preparing for the move by promoting a great sale to downsize items to pack and move. We will need to get extra volunteers in place for help as needed.”

Shepherd says the cost of doing the renovations has not yet been determined, but the thrift store and food bank have been fortunate to have some savings in place to use for part of the purchase of the new building.

“We cannot thank the community enough for their past and future support,” she says.

Fundraising will now be full steam ahead to help cover part of the building purchase as well as the cost of renovations.

Shepherd says there are a number of fundraisers already planned and more will be planned in the future.

“A number of fundraisers will be forthcoming,” she says, “including a pie sale, a 50/50, a fashion show and entertainment by last year’s GX94 Star Search winner.”

She says the thrift store and food bank are also welcoming donations of volunteer labor to assist in the renovations.

As for the current buildings on Main Street, they will be up for sale.

“Farm Boy Realty will be listing our thrift store and food bank properties,”says Shepherd. “Our hope is that they sell quickly to help pay down our debt.”

The thrift store has operated for many years in Moosomin in a number of locations.

In the spring of 2005, the decision was made to open a food bank in the thrift store located on Main Street. In 2007 the thrift store and food bank outgrew their location and moved to a new location on Main Street, giving them an additional 1,000 square feet of space.