Ministry Village Bargain Center’s Grand Opening is February 3rd!
The Ministry Village Bargain Center is now open at its new location – 92 E. 9 Mile Road in Pensacola!
As its name implies, the Ministry Village Bargain Center offers discount shopping and thrifty finds to bargain shoppers; however, its primary mission is to provide funding for the various programs of Ministry Village at Olive – including the Tender Hearts Caring Hands food pantry and benevolence program; Most Excellent Way’s addiction support groups; and the Charis House, a ladies faith-based residential recovery program for women suffering from addiction. In addition to supporting the programs financially, the Bargain Center provides a safe place for the women in the Charis House program to learn employment skills like work ethic, accountability and dependability. It is often one of the first places the women in the Charis House work after completing the program, and the Bargain Center becomes a lifeline to help those women reenter the community by providing work experience and employment references to help them become contributing members of society.
The timing of the move from its original Davis Highway location was unexpected. Julie Paden, Ministry Village Bargain Center Store Manager, had just launched The Market at Ministry Village – a vendor booth space inside the Bargain Center – in early December 2019. Booths had been built, vendors had moved in, shoppers were loving the variety, and everyone was moving full speed ahead. Then, in late December, Julie and Jeremy Portmann, Ministry Village at Olive Executive Director, learned about the 9 Mile Road building’s vacancy. “The search for a new location was underway, but wasn’t urgent,” said Jeremy. “We were just keeping our eyes and ears open for opportunities. When we heard about this building and came to see it, we knew it would be a great location.” Because the building is newer and more recently renovated than the original Bargain Center location, it is more well insulated and energy efficient. Based on its square footage, rent and utilities were much lower, so it also made good business sense financially.
While the square footage of the location is smaller than the original building, Julie’s team put plans in place to more efficiently use the sales space as well as actively rotate items through the store, which will also keep the merchandise fresh for shoppers. “We get fantastic items donated every day, and items will be competitively priced to sell fast,’” Julie explains. “We use a color-coded system to track how long an item has been on the floor. Once it has been on the sales floor for 2 weeks, it will go to clearance where it will be deeply discounted. For example, clothing items will be marked to 50 cents their first week on clearance, then 25 cents their second week on clearance. After 2 weeks on clearance, any remaining items will be donated to Teen Challenge – one of the Bargain Center’s ministry partners. The store will basically be a brand new store every 2 weeks based on our rotation schedule.”
The Bargain Center has a great working relationship with Teen Challenge, and actually sells damaged clothing and linens to Teen Challenge to be used in one of their ministries. “We have 2 large boxes where we sort any donated clothing that is stained, ripped, or torn as well as damaged linens like sheets, curtains and towels,” explains Julie. “Once those boxes are full, we deliver them to Teen Challenge and they pay us per pound for the fabrics. They then send those materials to Guatemala where they have a partnership ministry that repurposes those fabrics, turning them into clothing and blankets for the less fortunate. We try not to let anything go to waste around the Bargain Center. We can find a way to reuse or recycle almost anything.”
The Bargain Center accepts donations of a large variety of items, and is organized into departments like any retail store. Shoppers can find quality used items including furniture; men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes; toys; books; music; linens; and household items like lighting and décor. Vendors with The Market sell a wide variety of used and new merchandise. Things like local honey, jewelry, vintage clothing, antique furniture, homemade wreaths and crosses will be available throughout the store. The Market provides the Bargain Center with a new revenue stream. Structured like similar vendor markets at Miles or Alyssa’s, vendors pay the Bargain Center for their booth space, and the Bargain Center receives a commission on any vendor sales. All 15 vendor spaces have been rented, and Julie even has a waiting list of vendors who are hoping to rent a space if anything becomes available in the future.
When the Bargain Center celebrates its grand reopening on 9 Mile Road on February 3rd, Julie is excited to see where God leads her ministry. “Finding ways to increase our sales and help to fund the recovery for more ladies at the Charis House – that is my mission. We work closely with all of the women that come through the Charis House, and it’s exciting to see how their lives change during that program. Playing a part in that is priceless.”
Julie would like to thank all of her volunteers and employees for the hard work and dedication they offer every day, but especially throughout this move and new store setup. Thank you to volunteers Margie Adkison, Charlotte Anderson, Sara and Jerry Bennett, Kathy Clements, Shirley Hamm, Deborah Jones, Sam Jones, Audrey Salter, Judy Elston and Laura Wiley as well as employees Olivia, Victoria, Jordan, Jacob, Charlie, Sailer, Christie, Rhoda and Ryann.
🎉 Join us for the Bargain Center’s Grand Reopening on Monday, February 3rd at 9AM at 92 E. Nine Mile Road, just east of Palafox, near the railroad tracks. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM.
📦 Donations are accepted Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM. Look for the double garage doors on the west side of the building and ring the bell. Someone will open the door to help you unload your donations and provide a tax receipt. If you have large furniture, call during regular store hours to schedule the Bargain Center’s truck for pickup. 850-916-9222
**Because of government regulations, the Bargain Center does not accept donations of mattresses, and does not sell used or new mattresses. Please contact your sanitation service to dispose of used mattresses.**
💻 For more information about the Ministry Village Bargain Center, follow them on Facebook @MinistryVillageBargainCenter or on Instagram @MinistryVillageBargains. For more information on Ministry Village at Olive, Inc. and its work in the community, follow them on Facebook @MinistryVillage, on Twitter @MinistryVillage, visit their website, MinistryVillage.org, or call (850) 473-4466.