is a delightful store brimming with antiques, jewelry, glassware, china, decorative accessories, jewelry, books, gently-used clothing and so much more.
“Our thrift shop is a tightly curated, clean and lovingly volunteer-run community landmark,” the church website proclaims.
Known as “the girls”, the staff includes Helyn Holohan, Isabel Negus, Harriet Sylvia, Gale Gabriel, Anne Estep, Jean Gadsby and Maryann Langely.
“It’s a surprise,” said Jean. “People don’t realize what a nice little shop we have. But once they find out, we have so many regular customers. We make it fresh every week. We move things around, and it makes a whole different vignette.”
A former professional window dresser who also paints, Jean offers a creative flair to the displays.
“That’s why I love it,” she said. “It feeds my artistic side. I make old stuff appealing.”
Ultimately, Jean’s artistry ends in a sale.
“I get the display all set up and somebody will buy it. “And I start all over again,” she said laughing.
The Trinity Trader opened June 6, 1987 to help fund the church ministries.
“We started very slowly, and it really took off,” said Helyn. “There were no other (thrift) shops around.”
Helyn credited the late Ann Babbitt as the brainchild behind the store.
“She was the one who started it,” said Helyn, noting that Ann had experience in the trade.
“We were trying to find ways to raise money for the church,” recalled Isabel, who said that at the beginning it was a consignment shop.
Today, donations are accepted from the community to stock the store.
“They can bring them when we are here, or we have a bin they can put their donations in,” said Helyn. “We stress we want them clean.”
Store patrons shop as well as donate items.
“The people that come in are very nice,” said Isabel. “Once in a while they bring things in. We’ve made a lot of friends over the years.”
Anne said that she knows everybody that comes in the door by name.
“One of my customers visited me last week all the way from Falmouth,” she said.
Anne remembers when she used to sit in her car waiting for the store to open.
“The minister asked me if I would like to join the church,” she said. “I’ve been here ever since. I love it.”
Fifteen years ago, Gale was helping the drama director at with a school production.
“We needed costumes so I came down here, and the ladies gave them to me for free,” said Gale. “To pay them back, I wanted to volunteer; and I just stayed. They are a great bunch to work with.”
Gale is the only volunteer who is not a parishioner of Holy Trinity. She is a member of .
Located at 1956 Main Road in Tiverton, the Trinity Trader is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. They are closed Holy Week, but will reopen on Thursday, April 28, completely restocked with spring and summer merchandise.
“Everything will be different,” Jean said.
For more information, visit http://holytrinitychurch.org.