BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO
Habitat for Humanity board members, volunteers and local elected officials gathered in Woodside on Saturday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the borough’s first ReStore shop, located at 62-01 Northern Blvd.
The newest 3,500-square-foot ReStore shop features new and gently used items for the home, including building materials, fixtures, appliances, furniture and home accents, at 60 to 80 percent off their original retail prices. The proceeds from the sale of their merchandise directly benefit Habitat for Humanity and help build homes for people in need.
While there are roughly 15 shops upstate and on Long Island, and more than 850 ReStores nationwide, the Woodside ReStore is the first of its kind in New York City.
“We’re really excited about Queens as the location for our first [New York City] ReStore,” explained Karen Haycox, chief executive officer for Habitat for Humanity New York City. “We’ve been working in Queens for the last several years, really focusing on our home building initiatives, but this takes our relationship with the Queens area to a new level. We want to bring great retail opportunity to the Queens market, as well as build a customer base and awareness of Habitat and the work that we’re doing.”
In addition to offering discounted appliances and home goods, the Woodside ReStore will also host special workshops, do-it-yourself classes and family-oriented community meetings in the store’s upper level.
“It’s really a great way to deepen our engagement with the Queens citizenry, which is so important to us,” Haycox added.
“We also picked Queens because most of our construction projects are happening here in Queens,” said Sarah Fox Tracy, Habitat for Humanity NYC director of marketing and communications. “We have high hopes for expanding, maybe to Brooklyn eventually, but first things first.”
The ReStore merchandise is donated by individuals as well as local contractors, home improvement companies, architects and corporate donors like cosmetics retailer Sephora, which donated several tables to the new store. The store accepts drop-off donations and will even make arrangements to pick up larger furniture or appliances from donors’ homes.
The new store was filled with everything from paintbrushes and tools to couches, wall art, cabinet sets and washing machines. “The stock changes over so much so you have to keep coming back,” Haycox added. “That’s what’s so amazing about this. It’s a different handful of stuff every time you come in.”
The ReStore Sept. 12 grand opening was celebrated with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony which included Habitat for Humanity board members and local elected officials. Deputy Borough President Melva Miller wished the store and organization continued success. Gary Gilbert, community liaison for Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, issued a special citation on behalf of the Assemblyman to Haycox, ReStore manager Frank Hinck and the organization for their efforts within the community.
“It’s a really successful model for us, and we also feel it helps spread the message of Habitat around the city,” Tracy added. “People can come in the store, shop and get to learn a little more about our mission, what we’re doing. It’s also really great for treasure hunters in the city.”