The store opened last month at 412 Yelm Ave. E., not far from the movie theaters, and is beginning to attract both buyers and donors, regional manager Caleb White said Thursday.
“We’re finally getting some traction there,” he said.
The nonprofit, which is known for its home-building efforts, hopes to add to the traction Friday when the store hosts an open house for local officials and Yelm-area business leaders.
About 15 to 30 people are expected to attend, White said.
The store occupies a 5,500-square-foot location that used to be a heavy-equipment rental business. Friday it is stocked with all kinds of building materials, such as doors, windows, tools, sinks, cabinets and lumber. The downtown Olympia store helped supply the initial inventory, but now the donations are starting to come in, said store manager Robert Chamberlain.
Chamberlain is one of two full-time employees at the store, in addition to about five volunteers, who help clean and price donated items.
Donors receive a tax donation receipt, Chamberlain said.
Raleigh Dewey of Rainier dropped off a couple of doors Thursday. He recently learned about the store and said he’s looking forward to coming back.
Tana Gann Goforth of Lacey bought a wardrobe and tiles for her kitchen. She spent $75 for the wardrobe, a piece of furniture that might have cost her $250, she said, after comparing it to a similar piece of furniture in a catalog.
Chamberlain said store prices typically are about 50 percent of what it might cost new.
The tiles are going to be a backsplash for her range, Goforth said. She was joined by her handyman, Robert Stannard of Stannard Handyman Services of Olympia, who said he always shops at the Habitat for Humanity stores to save his clients money on their projects.
The stores also play a key role in contributing funds to Habitat for Humanity’s larger cause, building homes for low-income families. About 54 cents of every dollar from the stores help to fund those efforts, regional manager White said.
South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity is set to embark on its largest project to date, a 33-home development in Lacey in the area of 37th Avenue and College Street called Wood’s Glen. Work is expected to begin next year, he said. The nonprofit’s next largest project was called Fairview Cottages, a 15-unit development in northeast Olympia that broke ground in 2006. It was completed last summer. South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity has long-term plans for a third store in Thurston County, White said.