Many in Woodstock will miss the Sunshine Liquidators store at 6125 S.E. 52nd Avenue. Located in a sprawling building that once was home to a Safeway store, and later the Loaves and Fishes administrative offices and kitchen, the store and property have been bought by Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette.
Sunshine Liquidators opened in 2005 with an inventory of overstock, closeouts, and some case-damaged and special buys. Its eclectic stock - organic and junk food items, along with basic groceries and household and cosmetic supplies - made it a neighborhood convenience store for some, and a destination for others who sought staples or unusual or ethnic food items at rock bottom prices.
After a sign was posted in January saying the store would close in late March, more cars than usual filled the parking lot. Inside, people meandered through the aisles, slowly examining expiration dates, and figuring prices at big percentage markdowns.
The owner of the property, Wayne Jordan, purchased the half block with a business partner ten years ago. For years Jordan tried to find the right match of business for the neighborhood. Dreams of Loaves and Fishes expanding to include housing and a senior center evaporated when Loaves and Fishes moved elsewhere. An attempt to lease the lot and building to a pre-school never panned out. Prospective lessees or buyers either found the size of the building inadequate or the renovation costs prohibitive.
In the last couple of years, Jordan's family urged him to sell the property; so when Goodwill Industries Inc. contacted him with an offer, he seriously explored the option.
The introduction of a Goodwill retail store into the neighborhood has been welcomed by many who look forward to some considerable upgrading of the property and added landscaping to the parking lot.
In August of last year a Goodwill representative and attorney, property owner Jordan, the Woodstock Neighborhood Association land use committee, and adjacent neighbors met to discuss the proposed purchase by Goodwill. One issue of concern was the loading dock that will be built on the southwest side of the building. After the meeting, the attending neighbors seemed to be satisfied that the indoor loading dock and the negotiated reduced loading hours would help to mitigate noise.
Goodwill stated that it is pleased to be able to buy the property and have a store in this area of Southeast Portland.
'Woodstock is a new market for us. We are excited to serve this community with a modern, barrier-free, new store,' said Dale Emanuel, Goodwill spokesperson. Asserting that Goodwill is an organization with a community mission, she added, 'The Goodwill retail system has the largest mission related payroll in North America - 93 cents of every dollar goes directly to our Job Programs.'
With Sunshine Liquidators having vacated the property, projected construction will start in late spring. A grand opening will likely be in the fall. Goodwill says it plans to hire 13 to 17 people to run the store, ranging from managers to loading dockworkers to people able to process and ring up donations.
Job applications can be found online at: www.meetgoodwill.org. For free job placement within Goodwill, or for community jobs in Goodwill's 13-county territory, call toll-free1-877/676-5872.
Sunshine Liquidators has not announced any plans to reopen anywhere else in the Portland area, but the family-owned business continues to operate in several locations in the Seattle region of Washington State.