the GABE Shop. How it works

Carol Ferguson

The GABE Shop

Tuesday, March 28 2017

Entering our fifth year of operation, The GABE Shop has become an institution on Gabriola Island. Owned and operated by the Gabriola Island Auxiliary for Island Health Care Society, The GABE Shop is a non-profit boutique thrift store. All the items available in the shop are donated by the community or friends of the community. The shop is staffed by volunteers and a paid manager. The proceeds from sales in the shop, the ice cream cart and various events held by the Auxiliary throughout the year go to fund island health care initiatives. Since the Auxiliary’s inception in 2012 it has given over $75,000 back into the community. The Auxiliary expresses sincere gratitude to the community for their continued support of the Auxiliary’s efforts through donations and participating in events.

When you drop off a donation at the shop it goes through a process before making it out onto the floor for sale. Clothing is inspected for holes, rips, stains, broken zippers, missing buttons, whether it is gently used or past its prime. Every garment is also steamed to make sure it looks its best and to provide a certain level of sanitization. For other items, each is reviewed to make sure it is saleable and researched for special values. No chips, cracks, broken pieces, stains, missing pieces or excessive wear. Dirty items are washed, silver is polished, glass is polished, small appliances are tested (where possible), seasonal items are stored and each item is priced. The books are reviewed for condition, suitability for the shop and researched where necessary. Now you know what happens behind that striped curtain at the back of the shop!

The GABE Shop is a boutique thrift store and we are looking for new or nearly new donations. New or lightly worn clothing, gently used goods and things in excellent condition. We do not have laundry facilities on the premises, so please launder clothing before bringing it to the shop. In order to reduce our environmental footprint, we do not accept the following: unsaleable clothing (ripped, broken zippers, missing buttons, stained, too worn), broken electronics, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, some electronics (printers, tube TVs, anything we cannot test in the shop), foot baths, children’s toys with small parts, car seats, strollers, stuffed animals with button eyes, sporting goods and helmets. Some of the list might seem odd, but we are bound by government regulations, as well as our insurance provider not to carry certain items.

When you bring in a donation to the shop you receive a “punch” on our Rewards Card. When you shop and spend $10 or greater, you receive a “punch” for every $10 spent. Fill the card and it is worth $10 in the shop! If you do not wish to take your “punches”, we put them on cards which are donated to PHC. The GABE Shop wouldn’t exist without the generosity of the community on Gabriola. Together we are raising funds for island health care and you never know what you’ll find at The GABE Shop! If you have never been in the shop or haven’t been in for a while, stop by for a visit. The shop is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11-4pm for shopping and donations. Thank you for your support.