Angela Benoit strums a flying-V ukulele

Meet the Sally Ann’s storefront guru

Window themes develop growing reputation in Campbell River

Guitars, tambourines, bongos, keyboards, rattles, drum sticks, wooden flutes, ukuleles and even some old 45s are artfully arranged in the display window at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

But most of it will be gone by the time you read this because the sale starts at 9 a.m. today.

“We get line-ups before the store even opens,” says Paul Herman.

Better known as “Tall Paul,” Herman is a New Englander by birth and is the new manager at the Thrift Store located on Homewood Road, in the plaza behind Perks Donuts.

Herman, however, isn’t taking the credit for designing the display.

That belongs to Angela Benoit, the assistant supervisor, who redecorates the storefront window every few weeks and has been doing so for the last six years.

“When I was sending out my resumes, I had other job offers that paid more,” she explains, “but this was a job where I could give back to the community and I knew the profits weren’t going into some corporation’s pocket.”

Profits from the Salvation Army’s two local thrift stores – the other is located in Willow Point, on the upper level of the Willows Market – stay in the community and provide beds at the Evergreen Shelter, meals at the Lighthouse Centre and fund other programs to help those who are less fortunate.

The job is also a good fit for Benoit because she’s an avid recycler and almost everything donated to the Thrift Shop is used.

She’s even among the first to pick over the newly-arrived donations to see what goodies await – not that she’s keeping the items for herself.

Rather, Benoit hoards the treasures that will fit into the various storefront themes she comes up with. Some of the items she keeps for a year, all stashed away in a back room affectionately known as “Angela’s Room.”

“It’s jammed,” says Herman with a chuckle. “One guy said it reminded him of a theatre prop room.”

However, it all comes out at some time, like the current musical theme. Herman notes that some buyers are anxious to pick up one of the treasures immediately, but everyone has to wait until sale day.

That’s usually a Friday and the date of the sale is posted in the store.

“When I came here a year ago, as a visitor, I thought it looked amazing,” he says.

So, what’s next for the storefront?

“I think I’m going to put in a gardening window. I think people are sick of the grey out there,” says Benoit.