The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Geralyn Wichers
Posted: 07/22/2018 8:00 AM
A new thrift store in Grunthal is funding charity and fulfilling a local businessman’s dream.
"Maybe you could say that I had a dream that I was going to put up a thrift store after I retired," said Dave Reimer, who opened Gospel Echoes Thrift Store three weeks ago.
The store supports Gospel Echoes Team Inc., a Christian mission to prisoners.
Reimer, who ran a lumber and concrete business in Roseau River, said he got the idea while visiting his daughter in Pennsylvania. He heard about a retired couple who bought a business, invested their money in it, and then gave all profits to mission work.
"I always thought ‘man, that’s a great idea’," said Reimer. He decided he’d like to open a thrift shop.
Gospel Echoes heard that Reimer was looking to open a thrift store and approached him. Reimer had visited prisons over the years, where he’d held Christian services and spent time visiting with inmates.
"I always felt that there was a big need because a lot of people there never get visitors," he said. "They’re human beings just like me."
He made a couple of attempts to set up shop in Steinbach, but things didn’t work out. The project was put on the back burner.
One day Reimer was driving down Main Street in Grunthal and spotted a building for sale. It was a 3,000 sq-ft.former garage and plumbing shop.
"Then time goes by, and it’s still for sale," Reimer said.
He pitched the idea to his business partners and went to the realtor. The price was right.
The store has been open for three weeks now, and already business is booming.
"It’s been really, really good. Far beyond our human expectations," Reimer said.
Their neat, welcoming store has been getting great reviews and many donations, he said. They’ve already had to bring in a semi-trailer for storage.