POULSBO — North Kitsap Fishline’s Second Season Thrift Store will move in February from Anderson Parkway to the former Hallmark store site — between the Dollar Store and the former Albertsons site — in Poulsbo Village.
The lease was signed Dec. 4; terms were not disclosed.
The move is a good thing for Poulsbo Village; the 5,000-square-foot space has been vacant since McBride’s Hallmark Shop closed in March 2014. The space next door was vacated by Albertsons in July 2016 when its sister store, Safeway, opened on 10th Avenue.
The move is expected to be good for Fishline. Second Season Thrift Store, a major revenue generator for the non-profit agency, will more than double in size. The thrift store currently occupies 2,000 square feet on Anderson Parkway; three-fourths of the building is occupied by Beautifully Polished, formerly known as Longworth Studio. The former Hallmark space is 5,000 square feet.
Fishline also owns Second Season Home Store on 3rd Avenue.
“Lack of space” is the main reason for the move, according to Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, an ex-officio member of Fishline’s board of directors.
The current site “is too small for its inventory,” Erickson said. “That little store is doing a lot of business and it’s a terrific source of revenue that enables Fishline to do what it does.” The new site, with its expansive parking lot and proximity to Highway 305, “will be more accessible and it will be much easier to deliver things, but the driving factor is the sheer floor space. It needed to be bigger.”
Meanwhile, Fishline is selling its 3rd Avenue building, where it was located until its move to the former Poulsbo RV site on Viking Avenue, where it is building a 10,000-square-foot Comprehensive Services Center. The listing price for the 3rd Avenue property is $440,000, Fishline board president Tom Eckmann said. The proceeds will be used toward new construction on the Viking Avenue site.
Some furnishings sold at Second Season Home Store could be moved to the Poulsbo Village store, Eckmann said. Fishline executive director Mary Nader added, “We are hoping to find a location that is affordable enough for our Home Store to go.”
Construction of Fishline’s Comprehensive Services Center is expected to cost about $2.7 million, Nader said in an earlier interview. When completed in early 2018, it will house Kitsap Mental Health Services, Kitsap Community Resources, YWCA, Kitsap Sexual Assault Center, Sound Works Job Center, and Department of Social and Health Services. The food bank will be expanded and rebranded as the “Healthy Foods Market.” The current food bank building will be occupied by a Peninsula Community Health Services dental clinic, a clothing closet, educational space, and possibly a community center.
“Fishline is about meeting people’s needs where they are,” Fishline board secretary Roger Zegers said at the June 24 groundbreaking for the Comprehensive Services Center. “By having those services here, we’ll be able to get the services they need a lot easier and faster.”
Fishline was founded in 1967; its service area is Poulsbo, Keyport, Suquamish, Hansville, Indianola, and parts of Kingston. Services include food, housing, transportation, and utility assistance. Fishline also provides budgeting assistance, and connects people with health services and education and employment opportunities.
Although the economy has improved and unemployment is low, the number of people Fishline serves has not decreased, Nader said in an earlier interview. Among those she sees on a daily basis: the 60-something widow who, having to move, is finding rents to be out of reach; the worker whose wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living; the family that must decide whether to put food on the table or pay a utility bill; the couple that cooks on a woodstove to save money.
“A couple of years ago, our big concern was lack of jobs. Now, it’s housing,” Nader said. “Times change and evolve, but there are some basic services that will always be needed.”
‘We want to expand to the extent we can’
Fishline’s food bank and thrift store were originally located on 3rd Avenue. After the thrift store moved to Anderson Parkway and the food bank moved to Viking Avenue, the home store opened on 3rd. The thrift store and home store accept donations of gently used items — donations are tax-deductible — which are then sold at a good price to help support Fishline’s services.
3rd Avenue is a one-way street and parking can be problematic, and the home store has had trouble “getting some sales traction” there, Eckmann said. Meanwhile, sales numbers for the thrift store indicate tourist dollars aren’t as big a factor there as one might think.
“We get a little bump in the summer but, by and large, our sales are consistent throughout the year. It’s a local crowd,” he said of the customer base. “We’re pretty optimistic the new location will provide a win for us. It’s a community supported endeavor. [Donors] know the money is going to stay in the community and be used in the community.”
He added, “The thrift store and the home store cover 50 percent of our operating expense, and we want to expand to the extent we can.”
About the project: www.nkfishline.org/capital-campaign.
— Richard Walker is managing editor of Kitsap News Group. Contact him at email@example.com.