Two Cornwall, Ont. non-profits team up to open thrift furniture store


A new partnership in Cornwall, Ont. is set to launch a thrift furniture store that promotes up cycling, and raises money for both non-profits involved.

Furniture Partners is a collaboration between the Agape Centre and Habitat for Humanity Cornwall & the Counties.

“This new store is a way of raising funds for both our organizations through the selling of used furniture,” said Lisa Duprau, executive director at the Agape Centre, the largest food bank and soup kitchen in the city.

The store is filled with items like dining room sets, couches and chairs, dressers and other household items.

It promotes up cycling, with the plan to keep used furniture that still has lots of life to give, out of area landfills.

“We have different antique pieces that still need a little bit of work, other furniture pieces simply need a coat of paint or a new door handle and they are good to go,” Duprau notes.

Leigh Taggart, executive director at Habitat for Humanity, says they were running out of room at their re-store location with furniture donations.

“We found that we were actually taking too many things to the free store at the landfill and we really wanted to divert more product from there,” Taggart said.

“Reaching out to Agape, who has a lot of the same sort of interests that we do, it just seemed like a natural extension of both programming,” she added.

The partnership has been a year in the works, with the team recently able to find an empty store front at 327 Montreal Rd. to revamp.

“This is Le Village District, so the city is focused on raising awareness in this part of the city and getting more stores opened so it’s a nice option for us to help the city out as well,” Duprau said.

“We actually have some great community support, we had a grant from the ghost walk for charity and the city of Cornwall to help offset some of our initial costs,” Taggart said.

Furniture pricing in the store will depend on the item’s condition.

“There are also going to be some pieces here for people who just need something that’s a little bit more affordable,” Taggart said. “It’s really going to depend on the item so I think there is a big sliding scale for that.”

“Everyone is always looking for a good affordable option. This is a great way to spruce up your house to make things look a little bit different and it’s budget friendly,” she added.

With living costs on the rise, the team is looking for any way to stretch that dollar for those in need in the area.

“The ever rising costs of housing and food in this community is a real obstacle for some people,” Duprau said. “Any new partnerships or different ways to raise funds, we are certainly interested in.”

“We both provide essential services to people in our community who are most vulnerable, so when people need the help, agape is there to provide those basics such as food and clothing and habitat, affordable stable housing,” Taggart added.

“This is great first step for both of us and we’ll see where it leads down the road,” she added.

Donations of large furniture items will still be accepted at the Agape Centre and Habitat for Humanity’s re-store location.

“Our staff will make the decision on whether it stays, or be moved to this site,” Taggart said.

Furniture Partners is set to hold a soft launch opening on Wednesday, March 9, with their grand opening to be held in April. Their hours of operation are 9:30 – 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

More information about the store can be found at the Furniture Partners Facebook page.


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