By Jennifer L. Warren
NEWBURGH – It’s just before 10am on a Wednesday morning, and an impressive crowd of eager, smiling, and very patient shoppers are lined up outside of 38 South Plank Road in Newburgh. Their brimming enthusiasm is rooted in the moment the doors officially open, exposing them to the rare and very reasonably-priced treasures inside.
Those gems are being housed at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh’s Newburgh’s ReStore. Once entering the 9,000 square foot interior, guests are privy to an eclectic, intriguing, sometimes even obscure, mix of houseware, appliances and furniture, among other items. Whether dropped off in person or picked up by Habitat staff-volunteers, contents residing inside are available for purchase at a “portion of their cost” price tag.
You see, this is not only an authentic business for the products it offers at affordable cost, but it also carries a special namesake, “The store that builds.” For the second consecutive year, partial proceeds from purchases at the Newburgh locale will be directly funneled into the building of a Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh Home. Last year’s inaugural project raised $200,000; this year’s, whose official launch party announcement took place inside the ReStore last Wednesday, has already tallied $50,000 toward the second one, whose future spot has been selected for 169 Ann Street in the City of Newburgh.
“What many people don’t realize about this ReStore is it’s a store that actually builds; I’m happy to announce we will be building our second ReStore House with the goal to raise $350,000” said Jill Marie, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, who provided background on the wildly popular ReStore, formally located on Washington Street for 15 years before coming to its present location several years ago. “I want to thank the staff, volunteers, customers and everyone involved with this, and I look forward to seeing you at the Dedication in about 12 months.”
In the meantime, there is bound to be plenty of shopping- with the goal of funding that Ann Street residence- happening at the South Plank store, one that has evolved into something resembling a family.
“This place just makes you feel so good, like pot roast; we have so many repeat customers, who even bring us food, others love to just hang out and be here, showing their appreciation to have this place and most all of them love Newburgh,” said Christen Tennison, Store Manager of ReStore, who oversees six employees and volunteers who provide 650 hours of service a month. “I’ve always worked retail, but this is my favorite of all jobs, as it just really makes me feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives.”
That impact is evident on the jubilant faces of shoppers as they patiently peruse the aisles, taking in every nuance of the authentic offerings throughout the store. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh President of the Board of Directors, Paul Brothe, has been amongst that energetic faction on multiple occasions.
“This ReStore is wonderful; it gives back to Habitat and helps build houses; plus it’s a great place to find things, hidden treasures with bargains and lots of fun,” said Brothe at Wednesday’s event.” I once found a hand painted, handmade plate for a dollar just sitting there on the shelf, purchased it, and went on to do some research on it, finding out it was made in 1788 in a French factory that was only in business for six years and several of its items were in a famous museum.”
It’s that exact type of serendipitous buyer magic, along with the store’s mission and one-of-a-kind-unforgettable ambience, that keeps the customer base coming back for more and more.
“All the gems I find here are just wonderful,” said Lara Yannone, a Town of Newburgh resident, who has been regularly shopping at the ReStore for the past two years and cites 1950’s pyrex bowls and Mid-Century Modern furniture as her two favorite finds. “They have great deals on furniture, antiques, vintage and new things, and you can get gifts for any occasion; plus, it’s organized, neat and very, very friendly.”
A store with all that, and it helps finance affordable houses…..what else could you ask for?