Habitat ReStore has a new home in Kannapolis
By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS ó Joe Squires calls it “reuse and recycling.”
“Everything you see here would be on the corner or in a landfill,” he said.
Squires is the operations director at the Kannapolis Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which opened at its new location at 2902 S. Cannon Blvd on May 18.
An official ribbon-cutting will be held Wednesday, with a grand opening celebration running through May 30.
The ReStore takes donations of gently used secondhand furniture, appliances and household goods from individuals, as well as home and garden supplies and unused construction materials donated by area businesses.
Proceeds from the sale of these items benefits Habitat for Humanity’s home construction efforts.
“Last year, our ReStore profits were enough to build two houses,” Squires said.
Previously located on U.S. 29 in Concord, the new location brings fresh life to a building that once housed a Moore’s home improvement store.
The “reduce, reuse and recycle” philosophy extends to the building’s giant ceiling fan, meant to reduce the need for air conditioning. The cool, brightly-lit store features much of what one might expect to find at a home improvement store.
Store manager Tom Somerville said local businesses such as Lowe’s, Carolina Interiors and K-Town Furniture are among the donors of goods.
Some of the donated items are discontinued lines; others are samples or displays. “Most of what we get in is donated by individuals,” Somerville said. “But there are a lot of companies that do donate to us.”
The floor space is nearly filled with a mix of items, but the assortment changes daily. Somerville and Squires said traffic has been heavy since the store opened.
On this particular day, within a few feet of one another, a row of antique sewing machines is on display not far from sofas, dishwashers and a row of refrigerators ranging from small to industrial-size.
“We’re in the middle of remodeling our kitchen,” said Andy Kehn, looking at the large fridge.
Kehn also found specialized light fixtures which he said cost up to $90 elsewhere. “They’re $5 each,” Kehn said. “We love bargain shopping.”
The ReStore draws a fair share of regular customers.
“We have people who come through once a week,” Squires said. But he hopes increased visibility and a larger store will increase both donations and sales.
“We had already driven by, and I said we should turn around and go back,” said Gray Burris.
He and wife Joyce were among the curious Kannapolis residents who dropped in to see the store in its first week of business.
“You never know what you’re going to see,” he said.
The store is run by 12 people, Somerville said. That includes paid staff, volunteers and senior citizens employed through the Title V program.
“That helps us and it helps them,” Squires said. That’s what Habitat does.”
Jim Bramlett, a member of the Cabarrus Habitat for Humanity board, came by the store with his daughter to look at the items on display.
Bramlett said the six-week transition from the former location to the new store had been both challenging and rewarding.
“This is a really exciting time,” Bramlett said.