A shopper's delight — average price of goods is $8 — returns to downtown Huntington
The grand reopening of Huntington’s Community Thrift Shop in a Main Street location is being hailed as a sign of the area’s vibrancy.
The shop, now at 345 Main St., serves as a revenue generator for Northport-based nonprofit the Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk, a charitable organization founded in 1952 as the first home nursing service in the county.
"We’re very excited to be in this new location," said Linda Taylor, the nonprofit’s CEO. "We just fell in love with this space."
The shop’s former New York Avenue location closed in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, donations benefited Cancer Care; Daytop Village; Family Service League; Huntington Hospital Auxiliary; and Planned Parenthood of Suffolk, in addition to Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk. The visiting nurse service is currently the only group that will benefit from sales at the new location.
Shoppers can expect to find the same exceptional bargains, including many designer and name brands of gently used and new items, Taylor said. The average price of goods is $8.
The shop has a part-time manager and is staffed with 41 volunteers.
"All of the merchandise is donated," Taylor said.
The thrift shop was founded in 1965 by nonprofits that shared a mission to give back to the community: Women’s Auxiliary Huntington Township Mental Health Clinic; Family Service League; Huntington Hospital Auxiliary and Planned Parenthood of Suffolk, Taylor said.
Vita Scaturro, chairwoman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, said that despite federal loan programs, several businesses in the downtown closed because of the pandemic from lack of revenue and high expenses. But she said new businesses are opening up, with the chamber hosting two to three ribbon cuttings per week.
"The Community Thrift Shop is now in a great location," Scaturro said. "When you have a business on Main Street it’s more visible, easy access and there’s the parking lot in the back; it’s a win-win for them."
Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Deputy Town Supervisor Ed Smyth and town board members Mark Cuthbertson and Joan Cergol all lauded the store’s reopening.
"The Community Thrift Shop is a dependable resource for residents to both rely on their neighbors and give back to their community," Lupinacci said. "Their relocation is a sign of optimism and renewal in this extended time of reopening."
Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk has been a fully certified Medicare home care facility since 1966, has offered hospice home care since 1989 and built the first freestanding inpatient hospice house in New York in 2004 in East Northport.
Taylor said the shop has been a mainstay of the Huntington retail district for generations and also is an important revenue stream for Visiting Nurse Service. She said on average the service netted about $40,000 a year from shop sales.
"When the shop had to close it was really unfortunate," Taylor said. "But we felt that it was a treasure and we didn’t want it to just close or put it on hold if we could bring it back, and I’m so glad we hung on."
To start, the shop will only be open four days a week but expects to increase its hours of operation eventually, Taylor said.
COMMUNITY THRIFT SHOP
345 Main St., Huntington.
Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Donations: They are seeking women’s and junior’s apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, handbags, men’s outerwear, small home goods and decor items.
Donations are accepted until 3:30 p.m. at the store as well as at Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk, 505 Main St. in Northport, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.