A Manitoba thrift store is celebrating a half-century of work and seeing overwhelming success.

The Steinbach MCC Thrift Store has been a place where many in the community have visited to purchase affordable household items and articles of gently used clothing for the past 50 years. It recently held a "Then to Now" Information Night at the Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach.

During the evening the Steinbach MCC Thrift Store Board Chair, Sieg Dyck announced their many successes and significant changes, crediting their dedicated staff and volunteers in recent years.

"We've seen tremendous growth and positive changes. Last year was particularly fruitful for us with retail sales hitting $1.5 million—a milestone we haven't seen in years." 

Sieg highlights the role of new board members in this success. "We've restructured our organization, welcoming new directors who bring fresh perspectives and energy. It's been a game-changer for us." 

Dave Thiessen, store manager and a familiar face in Steinbach for two decades, echoes Dyck’s sentiments. 

"The dynamics of our current board are fantastic. There is mutual support and a shared goal of striving for the best for our store and community." 

Thiessen notes, the journey hasn't been without its challenges, especially navigating the financial landscape post-pandemic.  

"During COVID-19, we had to make tough decisions to ensure sustainability. But with the support of our loyal volunteers and the community, we've not only recovered but exceeded expectations." 

Thiessen points out that there have been significant changes made to the store, with many renovations and a refreshed interior thanks to funds from the sale of the Ten Thousand Villages building last year.  

"We've revamped our store—new paint, improved flooring, and better displays. It's made a significant difference in attracting more customers and donations." 

Thiessen adds with a smile, “And no more driving through those horrible potholes trying to get out of the parking lot.”

Construction crews working on the Steinbach MCC parking lot This week construction crews were seen working on the Steinbach MCC parking lot. (Supplied) 

Dyck adds that one notable achievement has been the increase in active volunteers. 

"We've doubled our regular volunteers from 70 to over 140 in just a year. Volunteers are the backbone of our operation, embodying our core values and making a tangible impact on our success." 

Thiessen agrees. "Volunteers are crucial—they bring life to our store. Their dedication is inspiring, especially during challenging times." 

Beyond the store's local impact, MCC Thrift Store remains committed to its broader mission of humanitarian aid and global support.  

Dyck says, "The proceeds from our sales contribute to MCC's work locally and internationally. It is a ripple effect of generosity." 

Both Dyck and Thiessen are optimistic about the future.  

"We're already seeing an eight per cent increase in sales this year. It's a testament to our strategic decisions and community support." 

Thiessen adds, "We're focused on maintaining this positive momentum. Our goal is to continue serving our community and supporting MCC's mission." 

He notes his commitment as MCC Thrift Store Manager.  

“My focus this year is to ask myself, ‘How do we generate positivity in the store? Positivity among the shoppers, or even among the donor at the back?” 

“We already have a positive environment if the environment in the room seems positive, our customers are happy. People are happy. That's a good thing. We’ve been doing it for over 50 years, and I think that we want to continue doing the good work that we do in the name of Christ. Thank you all for your support.”

Steinbach MCC Thrift Store along Main Street