By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
St. Pauls Nearly New thrift marks 40 years
pic nearly-new-store
The Nearly New Shop at 604 E. Yosemite Ave. has been a fixture in Manteca. The thrift store of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church will mark its 40th anniversary in operation on Friday. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/ The Bulletin
Friday will mark the 40th anniversary in business for the Nearly New Shop.

Celebration of this landmark event for the thrift store at 604 E. Yosemite Ave., Manteca, will take place Sunday at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church following the 10 a.m. worship service.

“We opened in a time before the (existence of) Salvation Army, Goodwill or Hospice stores. In fact, we didn’t have garage or yard sales to compete with back then,” said Leoma Negley, who was there from the beginning.

The idea of the thrift store consisting of gently used items came as a result of a two-day rummage sale at the St. Paul women’s group held in the American Legion Hall.

“After seeing all the left-over items being given away at the end of sales day, it was suggested we look into opening a thrift store,” Negley said.

The Nearly New Shop was patterned after the First Methodist Church’s thrift store in Turlock.

On Oct. 16, 1970, the first-ever Manteca store opened in the 300 block of North Main Street.

“We were given a month to try out this new idea, but after a week we were given approval to continue our project,” recalled Negley.

In the early days, volunteers of the business would worry about not having enough items to stock the store.

Other times, they were waste deep in donations.

“We gradually began to expand our hours and added Thursday to our days as more help became available,” said Negley.

The store moved several times, going from the North Main Street to the corner of Center and Main streets coupled with two more locations.

It wasn’t until developer Anthony Raymus offered the United Methodist women’s group the current location at a low cost some 22 years ago.

“Some of the other businesses that help us out on a weekly basis were Bobsons Cleaners, who dry-cleaned some of our clothes, and Allen’s Jewelry, where we picked up our money bag when we opened our store in the morning and then returned it when we closed for the day,” Negley said.

Other thrift and consignment stores have come and gone over the years. Meanwhile, the Newly New Shop remains a fixture in the community.

Negley credited this longevity to that of the appearance of the store, the quality and reasonable prices of goods, and the service as provided by the friendly and caring group of volunteers.

She added that other supporters over the years have been the local Boys and Girls Club,  St. Paul’s Food Pantry, Hope Ministries, Raymus House, the Police Chief’s Foundation, and Haven of Peace, to name a few.

“Of course, we could never have survived if it was not for the hard work of all our 70 or more volunteers,” said Negley. “Only with their help have we been able to continue to keep the store open.”

More information on the Nearly New Shop can be obtained by calling 209-239-9162.