Over 60 years of providing affordable secondhand goods will come to an end when the St. Justin Thrift Store closes on Sept. 30.
According to St. Justin Principal Karen Suty, the decision to close was difficult to make, but the rising cost of doing business in the Bay Area became too much to bear.
“Like most small businesses, the cost of doing business has increased to a point that is no longer financially viable to run the thrift store,” she said. “Although school parents volunteer in the thrift store, we have a full staff seven days a week — the recent increases in minimum wage (and associated costs) added tens of thousands of dollars to our bottom line. We are very sad to see the thrift store close.”
Originally called the Outgrown Shop, the St. Justin Thrift Store opened in 1956 as a service to the St. Justin parish community and as a way to help those in need throughout Santa Clara. Over the years, the store expanded from only selling gently used clothing to a full secondhand store with items including housewares, furniture, paintings, holiday décor, baby items, games and books.
For approximately the past 20 years, the store served as a way to assist parishioner families in covering the cost of a Catholic school education. Suty said that although the store will no longer be able to fill the financial gap for some families, St. Justin will continue fundraising through the school’s annual golf tournament, benefit dinner and jog-a-thon, and is excited about the possibilities of what the space will become.
“We are hoping to create a teen center and/or multipurpose meeting room,” she said, adding, “We are currently in discussions to go back to the beginning — open an Outgrown store for just clothing, run by parish volunteers with donations from the public. It would help us to continue our mission to help those in need and would be the perfect addition to our Community Ministry food pantry program.”
Throughout the month of September, Suty said all store items will be discounted with the hope of selling most of the available inventory. Any items not sold will be sent to PARCA (Partners and Advocates for Remarkable Children and Adults) in Burlingame and all unsold clothing will be donated to Sacred Heart Community Service.
The St. Justin Thrift Store is at 2655 Homestead Rd. and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (408) 243-7117 for more information.