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Platteville Thrift Shop plans to grow
Campaign for building expansion under way
Thrift Shop expansion drawing

by Steve Prestegard

The Platteville Thrift Shop has been in the former Jerry’s Flowers building at 950 Lancaster St. since 2000.

The Thrift Shop is beginning a campaign for a $170,000 addition to and updating of its building. The Thrift Shop has $50,000 toward the expansion.

Thrift Shop board president Andy Custer said the group would like to break ground for the expansion in the spring.

“This year has been a big year for us in that Jean Sanders was visited by the First Lady of Wisconsin and presented that Wisconsin Heroes award,” said Custer.

Sanders is the only surviving founder of the Thrift Shop, which began in the basement of the Platteville Municipal Building April 27, 1973, after getting a $200 loan from a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Platteville. The store sold $38.13 in items its first day. The store’s gross proceeds exceeded $250,000 for the first time in 2006.

The store moved to two buildings at the corner of East Main Street and Second Street before moving to the former Jerry’s Flowers building in 2000. The store purchased its building in 2007.

The store has nine employees and 50 volunteers, including members of seven Platteville churches.

“The volunteers and the board have always made the point, usually annually, that [volunteers] are what make this a success because there’s no way we could financially pay enough people to keep it running,” said Sanders earlier this year. “Beyond business, all these proceeds go back towards the community.”

Proceeds after paying employee salaries and utilities go to local causes, including Wisconsin Badger Camp, the PHS Scholarship Fund, the PHS post-prom, the Salvation Army, Platteville Special Olympics, the Platteville Senior Center picnic, the Hodan Center, Southwest Opportunities Center, Platteville and Grant County Holiday Project food baskets, Platteville Regional Chamber gift certificates for school children, and Family Advocates Christmas gift certificates. The store also gives grants to people and families in financial need in such areas as rent, utilities and medical costs, referred to the store through area churches, social workers, and such organizations as Family Advocates.

Silent auction proceeds recipients include the Platteville Farmers Market SNAP certificates, Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center Soundfield systems, the Platteville Food Pantry, Platteville Public Schools activity fees.

For more information on the campaign, contact Custer,, 732-0807, or treasurer Cindy Martens,, 732-4650, or go to or the Thrift Shop’s Facebook page.