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Goodwill opening in Cottage Grove draws eager shoppers

Cottage Grove shopper Jean McPherson was among the first inside the new Goodwill store Saturday following a grand opening celebration. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)1 / 6
The 19,000-square-foot Goodwill, located on the corner of 80th Street and Hardwood Avenue in Cottage Grove, was inundated with shoppers Saturday after the grand opening. The store was built on the property which housed the vacant Coldwell Banker Burnet building. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)2 / 6
Cashiers Brittany Gingold (left), of St. Paul, and Samantha Farah, of Cottage Grove, scan the first items through Saturday after a brief grand opening celebration for the new Goodwill store. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)3 / 6
Goodwill General Manager Derek Hemker assists Denise Herzog, a new cashier, with the cash register following the grand opening celebration Saturday. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)4 / 6
The 19,000-square-foot Goodwill store in Cottage Grove sells a variety of donated and new goods, including books. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)5 / 6
Dozens of area shoppers filled the new Goodwill store in Cottage Grove Saturday. Bargain hunters searched through racks of clothing, home goods, books, outdoor equipment and toys. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)6 / 6

A line of people just about wrapped around one side of the new Goodwill store in Cottage Grove Saturday morning as dozens of area shoppers eagerly awaited the grand opening of one of the nation’s most recognizable retailers.

The ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place roughly seven months after groundbreaking, was one of the highest attended events in the corporation’s history, said Michael Wirth-Davis, president and CEO of Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota.

“We love this,” he said of the attendance. “We love that the community is so welcoming and wants us here.”

The 19,000-square-foot space, located on the corner of 80th Street and Hardwood Avenue, gives new life to a long-vacant corner, Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey said when the store first cast eyes on the city.

Prior to the store’s construction, crews demolished the empty Coldwell Banker Burnet building, which was vacated in 2005.

The store’s general manager, Derek Hemker, said shoppers of the Cottage Grove Goodwill will have the convenience of searching for clothing based on size, an amenity not found in all Goodwill stores. Along with new and gently used clothing, bargain hunters can purchase lawn ornaments, children’s toys, books, furniture, home goods and kitchen supplies.

“This is going to be a place for people to bring their goods so that we can give it a second life,” Wirth-Davis said. “They will find great value, trendy clothing and variety of items to shop for.”

The new store hired 36 people, nearly all of whom live in the area, Wirth-Davis said.

“This is a really big deal, we’re so proud to be here,” Hemker added.

Aside from the retail side, the organization assists those in need find stable jobs and “break down barriers,” Wirth-Davis said.

“Every time this store does well, every time that cash register rings, you’re helping someone,” Wirth-Davis said. “Customers to our stores help support our social mission.”

Goodwill is located at 8690 East Point Douglas Road. The store is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The drive-thru donation will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.