Jewish thrift store moves to bigger, better location

The used book section at the 1st-Rate 2nd-Hand Thrift Store

The 1st-Rate 2nd-Hand Thrift Store has moved to new, bigger digs at 5851 E. Speedway Blvd., but the extra 2,000 square feet of space is only part of the improvement, says manager Amy Sandler-Stuchen.

The interior of the new store, which is just a few blocks east of the old location, has been specially designed to be open and inviting, says Sandler-Stuchen, an interior designer. “Everything has a place and it’s fantastically clean. We have new lighting, new floors. This building is 110 percent better than the old one,” she says.

The new location, which is directly on Speedway, also has plenty of easily accessible parking. It is in the storefront where Old Pue­blo Traders once was, says Sandler-Stuchen, next to Apollo Carpet.

Customer traffic and donations are up, she says, noting the store’s high-end furniture, accessories and used book section. Most donations, she says, come from homes that are being renovated. A side door makes dropping off donations “unbelievably easy,” says Sandler-Stuchen. But, she adds, “I’d like to remind people that we do the schlepping. We pick up anything.”

The store is open on Sundays, unlike most area thrift stores, she says. The second Sunday of each month is now a flea market, says Sandler-Stuchen, who hopes to add a farmer’s market soon. The store is closed on Saturdays and major Jewish holidays.

In the past six months, 1st-Rate 2nd-Hand obtained its own non-profit status and became independent of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, but it’s still Tucson’s only Jewish thrift store, emphasizes Sandler-Stuchen. Profits are returned to community agencies and synagogues based on volunteer hours worked.

For more information, call 327-5252.