Business Beat: Thrift store offers items old, new

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Andy Bockelman is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society, and his movie reviews appear in Explore Steamboat and the Craig Daily Press.

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One way that Lucille Strange helps people remember her last name is with the phrase “Never talk to strangers.”

But, once you step foot in her store, her personable attention will guarantee you never think of her as a stranger again.

Strange is the proprietor of Stop & Shop Thrift Store, 2255 W. Victory Way, a business specializing in goods both second-hand and otherwise. The store’s grand opening was Oct. 21.

“We’ve got old and new stuff here,” she said. “We have a very good selection for kids. We’ve got a lot of school supplies at a very low price, and they’re all brand-new.”

A large array of children’s books and clothing takes up much of the store’s floor space, however items such as movies and men’s and women’s clothes are also prominent.

Strange said all items that come from the red and white donation bin in front of the store are tidied up well.

“We keep our store really organized and clean,” Strange said. “All our clothes are very clean, I make sure to wash and iron them before I put them out.

Stop & Shop’s front display cases contain some of the store’s most colorful inventory items: baseball, football and basketball cards, as well as a veritable library of heavily discounted features from Marvel and DC Comics.

“Our best seller is comic books. We sold a lot of them at our grand opening,” Strange said. “I’m planning on getting a lot of brand new ‘Spider-Man’ comics.”

Also located next to the cards and comics are an assortment of sunglasses and jewelry.

“Our jewelry is old and new. I was planning on opening up a boutique about five years ago, and all the things I bought for that, I can sell here,” Strange said. “I’ve been looking for a job for three years now, and it’s been very hard, so I told myself I should just create a job. I think there’s a lot of competition with younger people.”

Strange said she hopes to host a customer barbecue or an event honoring local firefighters in the near future. She said she also wants to get involved with local charitable efforts once she gets the business established.

Although, she’s the first to admit her low prices could make it difficult to turn a profit.

“Our prices are really affordable,” she said. “People have told me, ‘Oh, Lucille, your prices are too low,’ but that’s what the people want.”

Stop & Shop’s business hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 824-0233.

Insurance organization recognizes Craig agent

Finding your way to success while embarking on a new career can take some time. Then again, some people find their knack right away.

Joe Padon, a commercial agent for Mountain West Insurance & Financial, 100 E. Victory Way, recently received the Young Agent of the Year award from the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado.

The distinction is reserved for people who work for excellence in the field and regularly represent a high standard.

This is one of many awards the personnel of Mountain West have received this year alone. Owner Darrell Camilletti gained local and national acknowledgment, winning Local Businessman of the Year from the Craig Chamber of Commerce in March and the Circle of Excellence award from Bituminous Insurance Companies in June.

Padon was given the honor, complete with plaque, at a PIIAC conference at the end of October in Colorado Springs.

“I’ve worked hard, but I owe any kind of recognition I get to Mountain West,” Padon said. “Darrell and Shane give me all the tools I need to be successful.”

Padon, a 2003 Moffat County High School graduate, headed the business program for three years at MCHS after gaining a degree in finance from Gonzaga University in 2007.

He first joined the Mountain West team in September 2010.

“Shane Camilletti is a friend of mine and he talked me into working here,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of spark at first, but then I really liked it. I handle a lot of prospects in Moffat, Summit and Grand County, plus some in Utah. There’s a lot of traveling in my job.”

Padon said he plans to maintain the same dedication that earned him the award.

“My expectations for myself go up every day, and I want to keep up that same level and that attitude,” he said. “I don’t want to be complacent.”

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