When the Yard Birds shopping mall, a staple in Lewis County since the late 1940s, abruptly evicted all of its tenants renting storage and business space at the end of 2022, many of the businesses did not survive.
One of the lucky ones was Community Thrift, owned by Jim St. Ours. It reopened Oct. 1.
Now located at 608 W. Main St. in Centralia near Sweet Dough Cookie Co. and KFC.
Mike St. Ours, Jim’s brother, told The Chronicle the store focuses on reclaiming, recycling and reusing.
“We have old, new and gently used items,” St. Ours said. “We are excited to see our old friends and make new ones.”
Though they have been able to reopen, and are now open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mike St. Ours said they lost a lot of their inventory not only due to the abrupt evictions but massive reduction in store space.
“The store in Yard Birds was 15,000 square feet. This is 1,000,” said St. Ours, later adding, “It felt like we took a beating. We just got blindsided.”
According to previous reporting by The Chronicle, a failed Washington state Labor & Industries inspection and unpaid electric bills exceeding $100,000 led to the Lewis County Public Utility District cutting the power to the mall last year.
Though St. Ours didn’t have an exact total, much of the inventory lost included thousands of dollars worth of furniture, antiques and collectables.
What they were able to save is now priced low to sell quickly, as many boxes of inventory still remain unpacked. There’s simply no room on the store’s shelves for the items.
“We’re doing some Christmas specials this year, including one that brings these collector’s plates down to about 50 cents or a dollar,” St. Ours added.
Aside from plates, lots of collectible and commemorative glass cups are also for sale, along with Hot Wheels and other toys, comics, movies and more.
“There’s quite a few collectibles, and right now it’s all priced to sell,” he said. “The customers are definitely liking it.”
So whether you’re a collector looking to complete a commemorative glass set or looking for that perfect Christmas gift, Community Thrift has something to offer.
The store’s Christmas specials are already ongoing and include buy-one-get-one-free — of equal or lesser value — deals on stuffed animals, collectible plates and bells.
“It’s a great place to do Christmas shopping,” St. Ours added.
Community Thrift is a cash-only business. For more information, call Community Thrift at 360-338-1511.