While shopping is often something that can’t be avoided, occasionally it can be done at a place with a higher mission than just making money. Minnesota is home to some very cool and unique places that take advantage of a traditional business model to make a difference in the communities where they’re located. Check out this list of stores with a cause before heading out on your next errand run, and you too can make a difference with your dollars.
Express Bike Shop
1158 Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Located in St Paul, Express Bike Shop is a non-profit organization with more than 15 years of experience in doing good and selling high-quality refurbished bikes. With 100 percent of the profits plowed back into an internship program, local youth get the opportunity to participate in a program that gives them a great skill set and certifications in bicycle repair and small business. The program splits time between learning repair and refurbish skills with trained bike mechanics, and learning the skills needed to work with customers and manage the business. Consider getting your next bike here, or bring your existing bike in for a tune-up.
Arc’s Value Village
6528 Penn Ave. S.
Richfield, MN 55423
Supporting individuals and families dealing with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Arc’s Value Village is the thrift shop arm of Arc Greater Twin Cities. Donating goods and/or shopping at one of the four Twin Cities’ locations has a direct impact on the work being done by Arc to support these people in need. Check out the online calendar to get a feel for what’s in store, as Arc often puts out calls for things that are needed seasonally as well as regular sale days.
2915 Pentagon Dr.
St. Anthony, MN 55418
The north Metro-based thrift shop Hidden Treasures turns donated goods into charitable giving – splitting profits between Masterworks of Minneapolis (a ministry-based outreach) and two overseas outreach programs in Kenya and Thailand. Focusing on selling high-quality donated goods at an attractive price, the store donates 100 percent of its profits. It also offers volunteer opportunities within the store and accept donations if you’d prefer to get involved in another way.
Related: The Trendiest Boutiques In Minnesota
Hope Chest For Breast Cancer
571 N. Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
An upscale alternative to the resale and thrift store market, Hope Chest For Breast Cancer offers high-end women’s accessories and clothing – a perfect place for those looking for some new work clothes at affordable prices. The store also carries designer home goods and furniture. With a business mantra of ”Excellent quality, excellent buys…all for an excellent cause,” the store is committed to providing support to women and their families as they deal with breast cancer. Part of the revenue generated by the business is distributed to emergency assistance funds available at local hospitals, clinics and organizations providing human services support. With locations in St. Paul and Orono, and plans for more expansion, it’s easy to get involved and get a deal.
The PROP Shop
15195 Martin Dr.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Located in the southwest Metro and staffed by volunteers, The PROP Shop offers a great shopping experience with the benefit of knowing your dollars will go further. Selling primarily donated goods, the store funnels its outreach directly back into the community. Between donating goods to families in need and using money made above and beyond operating costs to support initiatives like Meals on Wheels, the local food shelf and emergency services provider PROP (People Reaching Out to Other People), the store is able to make a real impact in Minnesota; to the tune of more than $60,000 donated in its first five years. Find gently used furniture, household goods and clothing on sale here.
Sassy professional by day, men’s style expert by night, Bethany Rein is a twenty-something living in Minneapolis. She loves baseball, coffee and the well-dressed male. An avid runner, Bethany also plays recreational sports with more enthusiasm than skill. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.