When Aldi was set to open a store in Palmetto last September, the ribbon cutting was supposed to take place before the doors opened to customers.
But that didn’t happen because of the exuberance of those who were excited to see what the discount grocery and retail chain offered, said Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant, who was there that day.
What the Y does in the community, from your heartfelt and faithful mission to the programs and services you offer our families, makes you a big part of the ‘A’ team here in Manatee County
Kim Dalglish, Manatee Chamber, on the Manatee YMCA
“We had come for the ribbon cutting but the line was so long to get in the store. It was huge, so they just opened,” Bryant said.
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On Thursday, Bryant was present for another Palmetto ribbon cutting and grand opening, this time for Manatee YMCA’s 9,000-square-foot Nifty Thrift Shop a few doors down from Aldi at 627 10th St. E., and, once again, there were quite a few eager shoppers in the store before the ribbon actually got snipped.
Actually, this time the public was invited to the celebration and the ribbon did get cut.
“We do love our grand openings in Palmetto,” the mayor added with smile.
Both Aldi and the new Y thrift are in the plaza across from Walmart and behind McDonald’s.
“You can expect a few new Palmetto grand openings in the near future but I can’t divulge other than to say everyone will love them,” the mayor hinted.
YMCA thrift has a mission
At the ribbon cutting held outside, Sean Allison, president and chief executive officer of the Manatee YMCA, explained that the Manatee YMCA has a fierce desire to be places in Manatee County where needy kids need swimming lessons, where needy kids need safe places to go before and after school, where needy kids need the personal tools to repel substance abuse and gang involvement, and where needy kids need to go to camp to learn outdoor fun.
But all that costs money.
The YMCA’s idea to cover some of those costs is by selling items donated by members in boxes set up at each location.
“We are one of the few YMCAs in the nation with a thrift store,” Allison said of the new venture, which will be open seven days a week.
YMCA members who bring in their membership cards will always get 10 percent off the prices in the thrift store, Thrift manager Jill Motherway said.
Items being sold at the thrift include lightly used men’s, women’s and kids clothing, including maternity wear and scrubs and plus sizes, Motherway said.
Other merchandise includes shoes for all ages, all kinds of furniture, baby and children’s goods, books, music, art work, electronics, kitchenware, tools and sporting goods.
There is also a boutique area with higher-end pieces as well as a jewelry section with earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, vintage pieces and costume jewelry.
“Our thrift store is going to be about value,” Allison vowed.
For example, a pair of men’s shorts runs $3.99, books from $.99 to $2.99 and toys from $.99, Motherway said.
Electronic items are reasonable — a Sony boombox was going for $8.99 on Thursday — but they are all sold as is, in the manner of most thrift stores, Motherway added.
“We do plug them all in and test them,” Motherway said of anything electrical.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, Kim Dalglish, a vice president at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, made a short speech that drew appreciative applause.
“What the Y does in the community, from your heartfelt and faithful mission to the programs and services you offer our families, makes you a big part of the ‘A’ team here in Manatee County,” Dalglish said.
The Nifty Thrift Shop will host another grand opening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will feature food, inflatables for the kids, prizes, vendors and discounts. The event is free and open to the public, Allison said.
Store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.