Bridge Thrift Store moves
New location in downtown New London
By John Faucher
When the Bridge Thrift Store’s assistant manager Deb Henning received word this spring that they would be moving to a smaller downtown location, she was worried.
The non-profit business had been occupying a much larger rental space in a strip mall on the city’s north side.
“At first when I came in here and looked at this, I thought, where am I going to put everything?” said Henning.
“Then the more I looked at it, measured things and got to work on it, I thought, it will work and it is working,” she said.
The Bridge Thrift Store’s new location is at 219 W. North Water Street, in the former Sommers Studio.
The historic building was originally built as a photography studio and it still offers some unique architectural characteristics inside and out.
The building’s curved interior wall, spacious exterior display windows and all original wood floors add to its overall character.
Two and half months into the move, Henning admits, “I like it here better.”
Being downtown makes a difference
“The neighboring businesses and restaurants provide a draw to bring people in,” said Henning.
“With all the little shops in town it just seems like we’re a closer knit family. We bring in traffic for the others and they bring in traffic for us,” she explained.
Store manager Raven Young agrees.
“You could say the move has opened up our audience,” said Young.
Being located a block away from Water Street Vintage Antiques and only two blocks from St. John’s Thrift Store also helps bring in customers.
“Since we came over here we’re getting a lot of people we didn’t see before,” said Henning.
As far as having less space, Henning says, “We always figure it out.”
The Bridge offers a large selection of clothing, along with furniture items, collectibles, small appliances, bedding, household items and décor.
“We try to keep a little bit of everything,” said Henning.
If someone is in need or looking for something in particular, Henning and Young make a note of it and follow up with customers as items arrive.
Supports Mission of Hope
The Bridge Thrift Store also remains a key component to the Mission of Hope House’s Meet the Need program.
Mission of Hope House is a shelter for those experiencing homelessness in and around Waupaca County.
In addition to providing immediate assistance to families and single adults, MOHH teaches personal and social skills necessary to help individuals and families move out of poverty.
“One hundred percent of the Bridge Thrift Store’s profits go toward providing support to the Mission of Hope House and its programs,” said Henning.
The Bridge is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Donations are accepted during business times and must be brought through the front door. Henning asked that persons wishing to donate large items to call ahead to 920-250-5835.