‘It’s been overwhelming’: Courtenay residents rally to save struggling business from closure

CHEK

Dressed head to toe in her thrift-store finds was a matter of pride for 80-year-old Rosie Payne Tuesday, as she went shopping for even more.

“Excited. What am I going to find today,” the Courtenay resident told CHEK News as she walked into Lake Trail Thrift Store.

Because she and fellow shoppers are rallying to save the struggling store from closure.

“How often are you in here?” CHEK News asked Payne.

“Oh, I can’t pass by it without coming in. You can come in and pick anything out. The prices don’t really matter,” she replied.

“Two dollars for a TV, two dollars for a bowl,” said Courtenay resident and regular thrift store client Sean Grogan.

“There’s always something available. Very generous, so it’s just a lot of fun to be in here,” said Courtenay’s Bryan Grogan.

Business has been brisk since the thrift shop’s owner, Matt Townsend, posted a plea for support on social media last week. He told the community that his ‘everything for two dollars’ thrift shop was on the brink of closure because business had slowed so much.

“I had got a final disconnection notice from Hydro. And it was either pay it, or we were not going to have hydro the next day,” Townsend told CHEK News.

Within 10 hours of writing the post, Townsend says his doors were flooded with shoppers and people donating items to save the shop.

“It’s been overwhelming the support from the valley and the surrounding area, I can’t thank them enough. It was overwhelming.”

“It would be the valley’s loss if it closed, and it’s not going now…He’s straightening it up. He’s getting stronger again,” said Payne.

Townsend opened the shop three years ago and says it’s been a struggle to keep the doors open ever since. Selling items for two dollars doesn’t stretch very far, but Townsend says he will never raise prices.

“I figure with two bucks, there’s a chance that we can be busy enough and we’ll still stay afloat, but it’s also a price point where everybody can afford it,” said Townsend.

“The prices are outstanding. I don’t know how he does it, really,” said Grogan.

As this community steps up to save a small shop that for years has helped them save money, Payne says it’s a very rich feeling indeed.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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