First and Second Thrift Store in Grand Marais seeking to relocate after sale of cobblestone building
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First and Second Thrift Store in Grand Marais seeking to relocate after sale of cobblestone building

First and Second Thrift Store announced on Oct. 13 that they are seeking to relocate after the sale of its leased space in the cobblestone building. 

Voyageur Brewing Company recently purchased the cobblestone building and intends to expand operations in the two leased spaces of Almost Home and First and Second Thrift Store.

The thrift store will remain open to the public until the lease expires on Dec. 31. However, as the future of the thrift store remains a bit uncertain, they have decided to stop accepting donations.

In the meantime, the search for a new location in Grand Marais has begun. “We are looking at every possibility,” said Ann Mershon, the winter manager of First and Second Thrift Store. 

Mershon said the thrift store is currently inquiring about multiple locations to relocate in Grand Marais. One of the potential locations is a leased space in the Birchbark Gallery building. Unfortunately, Mershon said there are a few issues with that location. The first is that the entrance to the space is in the alley. In addition, Mershon said the rent is “more than twice what we’re paying right now for our rent and utilities. So that’s a problem for us.”

Mershon is hopeful that the First and Second Thrift Store will find another location in town. She said there is a lot of community support to keep the thrift store going. 

The small yet impactful thrift store has generated nearly $850,000 in donations since it started 15 years ago. Last year, the thrift store donated over $111,000 to nonprofit organizations. Mershon said, “We have 45 volunteers, and we all give our time happily and appreciate that we can decide which nonprofits benefit from the hours that we put in at the store.”

Some community nonprofits to receive donations from First and Second Thrift Store are the Grand Marais Playhouse, The Hub, Care Partners of Cook County, and numerous local churches. 

Mershon said she hopes the thrift store can find a new location this winter and be reopened for the busy season in May. “I just want to thank all the community for all the support they’ve given to the store. It’s pretty incredible how supportive people are of this whole idea,” Mershon said. 

While the thrift store plans for the months ahead, Mershon said they are seeking storage space to house the current donations. “If anybody has any space that they could offer us for storage, that would really be appreciated.” 

If you have suggestions for the First and Second Thrift Store, Mershon said to contact her at or call the store at 218-387-1826. 

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Mershon to learn more about First and Second Thrift Store’s plans for the future. Audio from the interview is below.