The New Beginnings Boutique, a Project of the Seneca County House of Concern, has re-opened in new larger quarters just down the street from the original location. The new store will be nearly three times the size of the original with expanded mechandise. The store has been closed temporarily as preparations were made to move to the new location.
That enterprise has provided a new retail storefront in the downtown area, helping build traffic for all downtown businesses, and the sales generated by the Boutique provide funds to help stock the shelves in the food pantry. HOC Executive Director Diane Draheim says the store has been a great success both in terms of customer feedback and in sales. By getting a better return for the many high quality women’s clothing items donated to the HOC, the store has generated new revenues while offering a great shopping experience. Items can also be taken on consignment at the store.
From nearly opening day, New Beginnings Boutique store Manager Lynne Wimmer has been eager to expand to larger quarters. The new store is located at 103 Fall Street (although one consequence of the move is that the sign over the new building was made for the original store and still has the old address, a problem they hope to remedy soon). The space for the store is being donated rent and utility free through the generosity of Bruce Bonafiglia and Bonadent.
The new store is already refurbished and the “soft opening” will be held on Monday, April 7th at 11am. The store will then be open Wednesdays through Saturdays. Spring hours will be Wednesday, 10-5; Thursday and Friday, 11-6; and Saturday 11-4.
Dozens of people helped clean, paint and refurbish the new location in preparation of Monday’s opening. “It’s probably bad to start mentioning names since there are so many people to thank, but we do want to give a special thank you to Board members Dave and Bonnie Saunders and their extended family, and Denise and Greg Sarra, all of whom really went beyond the call of duty. They not only to put in many hours of labor themselves, but also to recruit others to help with the move. We could not possibly have made the move without all those folks,” said Wimmer.
The Boutique is one of the ways the House of Concern Board of Directors has met the rising needs for food in Seneca County. in January alone, the food pantry was able to furnish over 31,000 meals to hungry residents. “With growing need and cuts in funding, we are facing a double whammy,” says HOC Board President, Stephen Beals. “We are determined to keep our doors open for as long as there is a need. The New Beginnings Boutique is one small example of how we are thinking ‘outside of the box’ to meet those needs. Our recent very successful Traveling Little Black Dress Fashion show is another example. This Board and dozens of volunteers have spent hundreds of volunteer hours trying to raise much needed funds and think of new ways to engage the community. We owe a great deal to those volunteers and could not meet the need without their support and energy.”
The House of Concern is a partner agency of United Way of Seneca County.
Disclosure: Seneca Daily News Publisher Stephen Beals is Board President of the Seneca County House of Concern.