store review: the salvation army in frogtown

Salvation Army Thrift Store, Frogtown, St. Paul

I’m not going to lie: the Boss inspired me to stop at this Sal Val on Monday. Ever since I read about a fellow thrifter’s insane Bruce Springsteen concert T-shirt find there, I’ve been more than a little motivated to check it out again. And my goodness, am I glad I did! It turns out, a few days prior to my visit, a vintage shop that had recently closed had donated boxes upon boxes of merchandise to the store. We’re talking super primo designer vintage, most of it from the ’50s and ’60s. Anyway, as you can imagine….a major bonanza ensued, as evidenced by my overflowing cart.

After I stuffed my cart with vintage, I spent the better part of the next hour going through the rest of the shop.


The store is large and well laid-out, two things I really appreciate.

  While they don’t have as big of a selection as the downtown Minneapolis Salvation Army, they have a more than decent amount of nice furniture and lamps. I saw a well-crafted coffee table for $10! Also spotted? A couple cute vintage lawn chairs and a pair of hanging bird cages I’m totally kicking myself for not buying.

The shop has an above average collection of framed artwork, including (at the time of my visit) some larger scale mid-century pieces, some cool Native American powwow photos and some small kitschy pieces from the ’70s.

  The prices are really reasonable. Over the past year, prices at nearly every Salvation Army have gone up substantially, but this store is an exception. For example, I didn’t pay more than $3 a piece for any of the vintage I snagged, and some of it was discounted by 75% thanks to the tag sale they had running.

The service was exceptionally sweet and patient. While I was waiting in line, I saw the manager and cashier address two fairly difficult, argumentative customers with poise and kindness.

And last but not least, they have a dedicated vintage section. Which makes this girl’s life a whole heck of a lot easier!


The couple times I’ve visited, I’ve noticed that the housewares section has really slim pickin’s. If you’re looking for Pyrex, dishes, knick knacks or bake ware, you might not have the best of luck here.

It’s not super clean, a fact I can overlook in every thrift if the prices are rock bottom, as they are here.

The vintage goodies (numbering in the dozens), need laundering and steaming before they make their Internet debut, but here are a few other things I found on Monday that got me excited.

A complete, 16-volume set of Family Circle’s DIY Encylopedia from 1973 ($8). (Incomplete sets retail for around $50 on Etsy.)

I cannot wait to dig into these babies, you have no idea! Here are a few of my favorite covers…

I also picked up a couple random pieces of framed art. We’ve had a couple customers at Mighty Swell request more big-eyed boy/girl ’70s art, so I picked this up (even though it sort of creeps me out).

This photo of the Dump Sweet Dump (50 cents) mirror is too funny not to share! Yes I am wearing a wool sweater in June…it’s Minnesota!

After purchasing this cap-sleeved ditty (75 cents), the number of red and white gingham shirt I own is now up to three! Yikes!

Go here to find: Clothing (modern and vintage), art work, furniture, photo frames, books.

Selection/Variety: ♥ ♥ ♥

Quality: ♥ ♥ ♥

Pricing: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Organization: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Customer service: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Cleanliness: ♥ ♥ ♥

Stroller-friendly? Yes!

Do they take credit cards? Yes!

While you’re there: There’s a ton to do over in this ‘hood! I love Ethiopian food and Fasika down on Snelling is one of the best spots in town. Go with a friend and split the veggie sampler. It’s nourishing, healthy and a total bargain at $14. If you’re in the mood for more thrifting, try digging for treasures at the Goodwill outlet at 2505 University Avenue or visit the plain old regular Goodwill store over at 553 Fairview. I also love finding stuff I never knew I needed at Ax-Man Surplus on University. That store is so fun!

Where it is: 572 University Avenue West

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact: 651.789.0099, Facebook