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Once and Again reopens on Jackson Street

Becky Vargo • May 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The redevelopment of a Robbins Road property caused several businesses to scramble for a new location, including a thrift store that helps fund part of the tuition for Grand Haven Christian School students.

The non-profit store, Once and Again, is now open at its new location at 1209 Jackson St., between Rycenga Lumber and Grand Valley Marina. 

With the economy booming, finding a visible location with a “doable” lease wasn’t the easiest thing to do, said store manager Rhonda Thom. That’s when John Rycenga offered the store the space in a building he owned next to his lumber yard, Thom said. Rycenga also updated the building so that it was bright, clean and inviting to the customers.

Although it’s about half the size as their previous space, Thom said it has a nicer display area and it will have to do.

“We will just have to be a lot more choosy” in what we accept, she said.

Customers were lined up at the door when the soft opening started at 10 a.m. last Monday, Thom said.

On Tuesday, Holly Martin browsed the displays and put a few items on the checkout counter.

“We pretty much did furnish the house from Once and Again,” Martin said. She noted that she likes the quality of the art and furniture in the store. “My husband is always grumping about having to come over and haul more furniture,” she said, smiling.

Deana Larson is also a regular customer.

“I’ve found a lot of nice clothes,” she said. “In here, the clothes are always, clean, fresh and also very stylish. They are never worn out.” 

Larson said she also likes to shop the thrift stores for “the thrill of the hunt.”

The store’s receiving manager, Pat Barker, watched as customers left the store with their purchases. 

“I like the community coming in,” she said of the five years she has either volunteered or worked in the store.

Thom said working with the volunteers is a highlight of her work. Many of them worked very hard to make sure the move to a new location went off as scheduled, she added.

The store does have another building on the property Rycenga provided for storage.

The store has given Grand Haven Christian School $25,000 so far this school year, according to school board Chairman Fred VandenBrand. This compares with $25,000 last year at this time, and that reached $50,000 by Aug. 31, 2017, which is the end of the school year.

Since the store opened its doors in December 2005, it has given Grand Haven Christian School $588,000, VandenBrand said. 

“This year’s revenue will be affected by the time it was closed and also moving expenses,” he said.

“VandenBrand thanked Second Christian Reformed Church for taking an offering for moving expenses, as well as those who wrote personal checks to the store.

The store was originally a consignment shop. It was first located in Centertown at the site of The Bookman in the 1970s, and then moved to a building in the first block of North Seventh Street, and later to Robbins Road.

The store’s hours will remain the same — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

The store is always looking for more volunteers and “gently used” furniture, clothing, housewares, antiques, sporting goods, books, linens, jewelry, etc. Goods may be dropped off during store hours or arrangements for a pick-up can be made by calling the store.

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