by JOVITA PARKER
Papakura’s “Vinnies Boutique” has enlarged its shop size, and with it the ability to offer increased support to the local and wider community.
The new-look store, which is now able to sell furniture as well as its current range of pre-loved clothing and bric-a-brac, has expanded into the adjoining shop space, formerly occupied by Small Business Accounting.
A grand reopening and blessing, of the bigger and brighter store, took place on Tuesday, April 13, well-attended by current and former Vinnies volunteers, shoppers and a representative of the Papakura Business Association.
St Vincent de Paul has been active in Papakura since 1932, but it was not until 1962, when they were formally affiliated to the National St Vincent de Paul Society.
“Vinnies Boutique” originally opened its doors in 1988 at the Rosehill shopping centre, then shifted to the Kelvin Road shopping centre, where it was for four years. When that building was sold and the lease could not be renewed, the shop moved, in August, 2009, to its current location in the Papakura Town Centre at 275a Great South Road. This was only a small shop, yet locals patronised it well and revenue from the shop has enabled the society to set up a foodbank, located at St Mary’s church, Papakura, and to make Christmas hampers available each year to a large number of recipients in the Papakura community, as well as responding to a range of requests for financial and budgeting and other assistance.
The then-president, Mary Smith, was always keen to find a larger shop, and had her eye on the slightly larger office space next door, occupied by Small Business Accounting, telling the owner that “we would be only too happy to take over his part of the building if he decided to move”.
The opportunity came at the end of last year when he signalled his intention to move, and conversations began with him and the landlord, culminating in the extension of “Vinnies Boutique” in April this year.
As Mrs Smith said at the opening “we have had a great team of volunteer support from our parish and the public over the years; all good things come to those who wait!”