'Imperfect merchandise at perfect prices' coming to Truckload Marketplace
The former downtown SuperOne building, which has sat empty for a long time, will emerge from the ashes thanks to -- of course -- Rising Phoenix.
The new discount store Truckload Marketplace will carry liquidated merchandise as well as groceries in downtown Wadena.
Barb Ellingson, executive director of the Rising Phoenix, said they are shooting for a Black Friday opening date.
"Our motto is 'imperfect merchandise at perfect prices,'" Ellingson said. "It's liquidated merchandise that we buy by the truckload. Our main purpose in doing this is to provide jobs for people with disabilities, and generate some revenue."
Ellingson said that Rising Phoenix had outgrown its existing facility on the east side of Wadena and needed to expand. Also, with funding cuts, they needed to generate more of their own revenue in order to provide services.
The new sign on the outside advertises that the store will have furniture, appliances, houseware, groceries, sporting goods, hardware and bedding.
The "scratch and dent" appliances have cosmetic defects that prevent them from being sold at full price retailers, but they still work.
Ellingson said the grocery section will be normal, and comprised of "the basics -- it will be more than a convenience store, less than a grocery store."
She said that the grocery store will fill a gap for people who do not have transportation to reach the two grocery stores on the highway on the north side of Wadena.
She said it would also be good for the community as a place to get low-priced goods during the bad economy.
Truckload Marketplace is expanding Rising Phoenix - not replacing anything - and the thrift store, New To You, will continue as usual.
"All the money that we make [goes] back to providing services for people with disabilities," Ellingson said.
Ellingson said that the Rising Phoenix clients who work at Truckload Marketplace or the New To You thrift store earn money, get good training and learn a skill.
"The people that we bought the building from have been very generous," she said.
Ellingson said that Rising Phoenix is more than Truckload Merchandise and New To You. The clients clean businesses, clean on a volunteer basis at the Humane Society and have also helped with the tornado aftermath.