COPPERAS COVE, Texas — A beloved thrift store in Copperas Cove is in jeopardy of closing after receiving a notice that they aren't able to renew their lease.
Optimist Thrift Store, 229 10th Ave., has been open in Copperas Cove for over 10 years. This non-profit organization provides clothing and necessities to those in need and everyone who works at the store is a volunteer.
This is why store Treasurer Mary Diaz says being forced to close the store would be devastating to the Copperas Cove community.
"This is an organization that helps community, the people in need, and children. We even send clothes to Mexico for the less fortunate," Diaz said.
Since it has been open, Optimist Thrift has done many things including donating to various charitable causes like Blue Santa and St. Jude’s. They were even able to provide Christmas gifts to seven different families last year including trees, decorations and gifts.
Store owner Tanja Ridings says she received a letter in February from the owner of the shopping plaza the store resides (Quine & Associates). The letter stated the landlord was terminating the store's lease and all items in the store need to be removed by May 6.
Ridings says she initially signed a three-year lease paying $500 a month with Quine Associates and had finished a massive revamping of the store over the Christmas holidays. Soon after, they hosted a grand re-opening in late January.
This is why the lease termination letter came so unexpected.
"We're upset because they are not straightforward with us. There's no reason, they gave us no reason of why we have to move," Diaz explained.
Even after attempting to negotiate a lease renewal, Diaz says the company "changed their mind."
Now the goal for store owners is to either work out a deal with the leasing managers of the shopping plaza or find a new place to move. But the search has been difficult.
"All the places that we've been calling say they've already rented or are for sale," Diaz said.
They're now asking for the community's help.
"We're asking for the community if they know somebody that is renting a commercial business location that is at least 1,800 ft. and no more that $2,000 per month to please help us. It will help keep the organization alive in the community," Diaz continued.
To help find the store a new home, Copperas Cove City Council is assisting them with the search process.
If you’d like to contact the store with information about a new location or with help, visit their Facebook page.
The store is still open as of right now. Store hours are currently Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.