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Charity opens bigger thrift store in older Coquitlam strip mall

Low Entropy is moving its thrift store into a larger space at Burquitlam Plaza — and will have relaxation spaces for people who are neurodiverse.
Verania Ramírez Téllez, Low Entropy Thrift Store manager sorts clothing for sale.

Prepare to celebrate the opening of a new charity thrift store in one of Coquitlam's oldest malls.

The Thrift & Fund thrift store will open 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 3 at 408-552 Clarke Rd. in Burquitlam Plaza.

Operated by the Low Entropy Foundation, a charity that offers free programs to youth, seniors and at-risk families in the Tri-Cities, the new Thrift & Fund store will help provide funding for programs.

"We are thrilled to open our doors to the community and provide a unique shopping experience that makes a difference," said Vanessa Wideski, executive director of Low Entropy.

 "We invite everyone to come and join us for our grand opening celebration, and together, let's make a positive impact on the lives of our community members."

The 2,200-sq. ft. store is opening up in a former presentation centre and is being renovated to accommodate a large stock of gently used goods, including a wide variety of clothing, home decor, artwork, books, kitchen supplies and small appliances.

It's a bigger store than one previously opened at Low Entropy offices on Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam.

Helping support the opening is Keep it Green Recycling, which donated clothing, and Vancity, which contributed $20,000 to help launch Thrift and Fund.

In addition to promoting recycling and funding community programs, Thrift & Fund will have some pretty unique features to take some of the "stress" out of shopping.

Wideski told the Tri-City News that the store will also have relaxation spaces where people can find some quiet time.

Accommodating up to three people, the rooms will offer a "peaceful space where they can choose to continue to work in silence or relax and find stillness."

Among the people that might use the rooms could be those who are neurodiverse.

"We hope the project will help those who have neurodiverse conditions to feel more welcomed into our space and be part of our community, knowing they can meet new people while having a space to go to if they feel overwhelmed at any point," Wideski said.  

Those who show up for the grand opening on June 3, from 10 am. to 6 p.m., will be able to participate in an official ribbon cutting ceremony, enjoy prizes and snacks and have fun.