Business & Development, Community, Cottage Grove

SVdP back in CG

Cottage Grove re-welcomes thrift store St. Vincent de Paul to the neighborhood

COTTAGE GROVE – “You can usually find treasure somewhere,” Cottage Grove resident Vicki Whisler said as she combed through a rack of purses at Cottage Grove’s new St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) at 910 Row River Road. “There’s always going to be a good find.”


Whisler was one of the community members who came out last Thursday, March 14 to support the business as it re-entered the Cottage Grove community. Since it was incredibly busy on March 14, Whisler opted to return to the store on March 17 to properly look around and enjoy her time shopping in a quieter atmosphere.

“I love secondhand shopping in general, but I really like St. Vinnies,” Whisler said. “I’m overjoyed.”

Above is Carol Gray Sordid who attended St. Vincent de Paul’s ribbon cutting ceremony on March 14.

SVdP initially entered the Cottage Grove community back in 1986 with a store in the Gateway Shopping Center, which was moved to the ground level of the Omer Apartments on 6th and Main in 1994. That store closed in 2000 “because it proved too small of a space to effectively serve the community.”

“Adding opportunities within rural communities like Cottage Grove is an important part of what we do,” SVdP executive director Bethany Cartledge said. “Our new store here reflects our commitment to investing in this community through career opportunities, waste diversion and reuse, and affordable, quality merchandise made available through our retail operations.”

Above, Cottage Grove police chief Cory Chase, mayor Candace Solesbee, police captain Randy Soulard, and South Lane Fire & Rescue divisions chief and fire marshall Danny Solesbee, who all came to support the new St. Vincent de Paul location.

As part of last weekend’s festivities surrounding SVdP’s newest location, 15 local businesses banded together to donate raffle prizes ranging from $10-$100. In all, 35 gift cards and prize packages, worth $731.50, were donated and distributed to shoppers. These raffles were drawn hourly from Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, March 17 and led up to the drawing on March 17 for a $500 SVdP gift card.

“We’re very appreciative of the warm welcome our new neighbors showed us and couldn’t be happier to be back in the Cottage Grove business community,” communications manager Joel Gorthy said.

Dave Tussing District Manager

According to Gorthy, the store sold more than 3,500 books in its first four days open, which equates to almost 110 an hour.

“I think that shows both what a hunger there is in the community for what St. Vinnie’s brings, and serves as a testament to the quality of inventory that our team prioritized putting in place for this grand opening,” Gorthy said. “But going forward, St. Vinnie’s stores leadership also prioritizes making sure that the same quality and variety of books and other merchandise gets distributed equitably among all stores, from more rural locations like Cottage Grove and Junction City to the largest stores in central Eugene.”

Members from Summit Bank attend the grand opening of the new St. Vinnie’s in Cottage Grove.

Total costs for the new store was about $4.8 million, which was financed by Oregon Facilities Authority and Summit Bank. Chloe Chapman with Summit Bank shared her personal reason why she is “forever grateful to the mission of this organization.”

“As a first-generation college student living in a rural community, I bought my first kitchen dishes and professional clothes from a St. Vinnies thrift store. And to this day, my favorite baking dish came from a St. Vinnies store in Walla Walla, Washington, that I bought when I was 20 years old,” Chapman said.

“Access to affordable, good quality household goods and clothes was vital to me when I was at my most economically vulnerable, and it enabled me to focus on my education and to build a more financially stable life than my parents have been able to have. What you do really makes a difference. It has made a difference in my life, too.”



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