​Longbeach Opportunity Shop, Chelsea

From St Chad's to Longbeach

Although it had been discussed for some time, it was on a Friday last year when a gentleman came into the old shop and asked Monica if the op shop needed some new coat hangers.  "No" she replied - "What we need is a new op shop".  And that is how the move to 405 Nepean Highway began.

It was sad day when Pauline closed the doors at 432 for the last time on 22 December 2012, but the New Year came and the action started!  It was a great contribution from so many parishioners with many hands helping; it made the mammoth task of building walls, building shelving, painting walls, laying new floor tiles, a fun way to spend your holidays.

When we were given the all clear that the shop was ready for the stock to be moved, the fun began!  It was a massive task to move everything and everyone shopping in Chelsea wondered what on earth was going as racks of clothing were pushed along; and trolley after trolley of boxes and boxes were wheeled up and our models had to be carried up to the new premises.  Many of our loyal customers helped and then came the task of hanging up all the stock, washing and setting up the bric-a-brac, sorting all the books, arranging the children's toys, hanging curtains in the fitting rooms and hanging the curtains to block off the sorting area.  The the advertising signs had to come down from the old shop and errected at the new shop.  I am glad there no Occupational Health and Safety officers around when that was being done...  Then the windows had to be cleaned. Where do you start to thank everyone?

At last the big day arrived - January 21 - and it was a very important day in the life Longbeach Anglican Parish when Bishop Paul White came to officially open and bless our Opportunity Shop.  We also had Ken Spackman from the Anglican Op Shop Network, together with Donna Bauer from the Victorian Government and and Tasmin Bearsley from the City of Kingston.  It was lovely to see the shop so crowded and we had our best ever day's trading.

There have been so many complimentary comments on the layout and our thanks go to Sandra for her presentation of the shop.  It has easy access for mothers with strollers, and people with wheelers which is most appreciated.  We had a young mum come into the shop and said "I just love your Op Shop - I come from Cranbourne to shop here".  A couple of customers later said they were from Springvale and Warragul, so our customers are coming from near and far.

So many were involved and as we don't want to miss anyone this as to be a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make the Longbeach Opportunity Shop the best looking shop in Chelsea!  We can all feel very proud so keep the donations coming in (the pile is slowly going down), and we look forward to seeing you in the new boutique.

By Jan Riseley
St Chad's
Anglican Parish and Longbeach Opportunity Shop, Chelsea