When it comes to thrifting trips, I don’t really need much of an excuse to hit the road. So this past summer, when I got an email from Michelle, inviting me to check out the new Good Works Thrift Store up in Mora, I didn’t hesitate. Enlisting the company of my dear friend Meggie, who was at the time waist-deep in a whirlwind of wedding planning, we hit the road one sunny Friday afternoon, Mora-bound.
Situated an hour and 15 minutes north of Minneapolis, at the junction of Highways 23 and 65, Mora boasts three thrift stores (and a bonus flea market!), all within mere minutes of each other. Our first stop was Good Works Thrift Store, an extension of Industries, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides job opportunities for people with disabilities and other challenges, allowing them to to become as independent in their communities as possible. (No small feat in a community as small as Mora.)
Greeting us at the store was a trio of lovely, passionate and proud employees, including Rhonda, the store’s manager (right) and, of course, Michelle, director of sales and marketing (left).
I was immediately struck by the quality of the merchandise; this is NOT one of those junky thrift stores you can find up in the country. Good Works store is large and in charge, naturally lit with big windows up front. I was really impressed by the assortment of home goods, glassware, craft supplies, lamps, side tables and books. Meggie, hunting for the cake carriers, jam jars, vases, plates and Pyrex that would bedeck her wedding tables, had TONS of luck, loading up an entire cart.
Prices were fair overall, and the curation of items was totally sensible, with books organized by genre and finer dishes stages on tables to give a sense of how they’d look at home. Based on the overall sense of organization, it’s clear that a lot of hard work, thought and elbow grease went into getting this store up and running. (Stay tuned for a full store review on Good Works in coming months!) Thanks for inviting me up, Michelle!Upon Michelle’s recommendation, we headed towards Mora’s “downtown,” to hit One More Time Thrift Store, a charitable thrift run by 7-County Senior Federation, which lies about two minutes away from Good Works.
While smaller in square-footage than Good Works, One More Time’s bargain-basement prices make it well worth a stop.
As one would expect from a thrift-store run by seniors from north-central Minnesota, the goods are pristine, exactly the type of stuff you’d find if you cleaned out a grandparent’s basement. (There’s a second location of One More Time in Isle. As if I needed another excuse for a road trip!)
Third time’s a charm did not turn out to be the case for our third thrift-store destination—The Queen’s Closet, located directly across the parking lot from One More Time.
Set in a kind of squat building, both Meggie and I were underwhelmed by the random, sparse, disorganized assortment of merchandise in this two-room store. This couch was really cute though!
Our last shopping stop on the way out of town was the Brunswick Flea Market, a sprawling year-round barn-market that boasts a lot of vendors, a huge assortment of merchandise and pretty high prices. To get the deals, you’ll need to dig (Meggie scored an amazing ’70s cake carrier for $2!), so definitely don’t stop in unless you have some time to browse. And be sure to bring cash, as they don’t accept cards!
All this shopping had left us feeling famished, so we wound up pit-stopping at the Brass Rail in Grandy, right on Highway 65. A small-town bar turned chicken joint, it took all of one bite of their broasted chicken for us to understand why it’s what they’re known for!
If you’d like to pay a visit to Mora’s thrift-store scene, here’s a handy map to help guide you on your way!
If you head up there, I’d love to hear what you thought and better yet, what you found! (Speaking of finds, I’ll be back tomorrow, sharing a few things I took home from our trip to Mora!) And be sure to check out my guide to thrifting along 35-W, in case you’d like to make a big loop, or my guide to thrifting in Cambridge, which is also on the way to/from Mora!