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Sally Johnstone, left, Kate Main, and Wendy Reid inside Thrifters. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Ngātea op shop opens ‘with a bang’

A new Ngātea op shop is quickly becoming the town’s new hub and aims to give back to the community.
Thrifters, next door to Hammer Hardware, offers low-priced donated items.
Manager Sally Johnstone told The Profile she and fellow managers Kate Main and Wendy Reid had “taken it upon themselves” to establish a community charitable trust.
“All the profits will go into that community trust and groups will apply to that community trust and we’ll distribute that money back into the community,” she said.
“It might be someone like the calf club at Ngātea Primary School and [if] they need money for raffles, and instead of going to businesses for donations, we’d like them to come to us to apply.
“Then we will give them vouchers for the businesses so they can go and spend those vouchers to get their raffle prizes.” Kate said Thrifters, which opened on June 7, had “gone off with a bang”.
“They love the shop because it’s nice and bright… we virtually had a queue when we opened,” she said.
“We’ve been very well supported so it’s fantastic – as long as there’s a need and there’s a big surge of people wanting to thrift, that’s why we’re called Thrifters.
“We have really good quality but we keep the prices right down, and we hear that all the time, we’re not a second hand shop, we’re a pure op shop.”
Kate and Sally said Thrifters was also a community hub with 15 volunteers from all walks of life contributing and willing to help out.
“We would love more volunteers to join us, even if it is for a morning or afternoon once per fortnight.”
“A lot of them are newcomers to Ngātea and they’ve actually gelled here and formed these amazing friendships.”
Kate said Thrifters also had a no waste approach.
“We have very good avenues of distributing the stuff that’s overrun from what we’re needing… so we have very minimal landfill through this shop,” she said.
“We put a lot of donations out for free back to the community if they have a bit of marks on it… we have two people that send donations to the [Pacific] Islands… [and] all the sheets, duvets and towels we can’t use are cut into rags.” Sally said they also planned to send surplus material to Taupō for underprivileged children who learn to sew and make items for shows.