Granny’s Attic in downtown Warsaw closes shop

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm


A clothing store that had woven itself into the town fabric of Warsaw for the past 25 years is coming undone.

On Dec. 21, Granny’s Attic will retire its services alongside the shop’s dedicated but aged staff, leaving behind a legacy of charity and goodwill.

For years, the nonprofit outfit, aimed to provide inexpensive clothes for those in need, has donated all proceeds to various charities and mission programs.

Since 2005 it’s been powered by an all-volunteer staff, most of whom have dedicated their time and effort to the operation since its beginning.

Alde Clarke, a Levi’s retiree who has worked at Granny’s Attic for 23 years, said that while nobody wants to see the store to cease its services, workers can no longer keep it functional.

“I hate to see it closed, but everyone’s getting older, feeble and they just can’t do like they did 25 years ago,” Clarke said. “A majority of the workers are up in their 70s and 80s and….we hadn’t taken in any donations for the past couple weeks.”

Storeowner Constance Gallagher said that the costs to maintain shop are outweighing profits due to increased competition over the years.

“It takes right much to operate,” Gallagher said. “It costs too much to pay the rent, water bill and utilities and oil…when we started there was no Goodwill [in Tappahannock] and now that the Haven has a shop…we have not been able to give away as much as we used to.”

But Gallagher added that the Haven “has done a good job,” mentioning that they are one of the operations that the store gives to.

In addition, Granny’s Attic has donated supplies to the Warsaw YMCA, Habitat for Humanity and to Richmond County Minister’s Associates.

By Clarke’s calculations, the operation has given away over $35,000 to charities over the past 20 years.

Granny's Attic, a long time staple of the community, is preparing to close its doors this month.

The store also donated items to the Tappahannock Goodwill and sent two truckloads of goods, through the American Red Cross, to the New Jersey area to assist those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Gallagher wished that a charitable organization could have stepped in and taken over where she and the rest of her staff will have left off, but when no one came forward she made the decision to close the store for good.

“We would have been grateful for an organization to take over, but we haven’t had anybody that has expressed interest,” Gallagher said. “We’ve enjoyed doing it, but maybe at this time we have to move on. We feel [the store] has been a great service to the community and I’m glad that we could do this.”

Granny’s Attic’s hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday. The nonprofit operation is exiting with a “$5 Level bag full sale,” where customers are given a grocery bag to fill up with as many clothes as they choose for the set fee. The sale ends when the store closes Dec. 21.

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