Barry Dalrymple is ready to return to community life. (Healey file photo)

LOWER SACKVILLE: Patrons to the retail store at Beacon House in Lower Sackville may notice new changes when they walk through the door.

That’s because in August, volunteers with the not-for-profit organization closed the store for a week to do some renovation work. That work included making the seasonal part of the store at the front, which currently has back-to-school, Halloween, and autumn decor for sale.

Next up is the children’s area which includes toys and baby items all in one spot.

“It used to be spread out a bit,” said Paula Beck, with Beacon House, as she took reporter Pat Healey on a tour of the new look retail store.

There’s also all new racking for clothing to hang off; it used to all in bins, but those were knocked all down.

“We put racking on the walls as well, to get rid of the bins and all the fixtures that we had,” added Beck. “We built a new cash register and one of our coordinators painted a piece of artwork on it.”

Beck said the renovations make for a more roomy experience.

“It used to be quite a bit condensed through here, but now it’s not,” she said. “By getting rid of the bins, we were able to create more of a shopping area.”

There’s new change rooms, with new flooring and curtains, and then they revamped the back area bringing all the clothing together in one spot.

“We put housewares in the back, all the paintings, the lights, dishes, and books are all back there together,” said Beck. “We also painted the floor.”

How long did it take the volunteers to do all that work?

“We did it all in a week,” said Beck. “We spent a lot of long nights here, but once the painting was done we were able to get it all put together with the help of our volunteers.”
Beck explained why Beacon House managers felt the time was now to revamp the store.

“It had been a long time since we had done anything,” she said. “There’s all new staff here in the last four years. We felt it was time for an update to make it more appealing to the customer.”

A grand re-opening event is planned for Beacon House on Sept. 10 to celebrate the renovation completion. There will be in-store specials, along with face-painting and refreshments. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All the proceeds from Beacon House’s retail store go towards the food bank.

“We want the community to come out and get a chance to see what we’re doing here at Beacon House,” she said.

On this day—Aug. 23—Councillor Barry Dalrymple was on hand to present a cheque from his councillors capital account in the amount of $1,000, while the Fall River Lions Christmas Express were presenting a $500 cheque to Beacon House.

“Those funds will be used to complete a few projects like new flooring in the food bank,” said Beck.