Greener BeeGreen LivingLiving Green: Bargain Barn completes move to Salinas

A new Grey Bears store is poised to open, thanks to support from donors, volunteers and community partners.

A new Grey Bears store is poised to open, thanks to support from donors, volunteers and community partners.

The move is complete, and the new improved Goodwill Bargain Outlet is ready for business in Salinas.

Long known as the Bargain Barn during its four decades in Santa Cruz, the outlet store is part of a huge move for Goodwill Central Coast, which has also relocated its headquarters there as well as e-commerce operations, a salvage center and processing area.

The Bargain Outlet opened July 19 at 1566 Moffett St. in Salinas, not far from the Salinas Municipal Airport, with Salinas mayor Joe Gunter doing the honors as the first shopper.

Unlike regular Goodwill stores, where all items have price tags, outlet stores exist to move merchandise quickly, selling everything except furniture by the pound. At the Salinas outlet, most of its merchandise is cheaper than nectarines — an amazing $1.79 a pound.

“It has been very popular in Santa Cruz,” says Jim Burke, Goodwill Central Coast VP of Retail and Operations. “You can potentially get a new outfit for $1.79, including shoes and accessories. The upcycling people like it too because they can get a dresser for $3 to $5. And it’s good for the environment, otherwise it ends up in a landfill.”

Merchandise stays in stores for four weeks, and if not sold, then goes to the Bargain Outlet. There, merchandise is rotated throughout the day, every few hours, constantly cycling fresh treasure troves for bargain shoppers.

“Shoppers are always introduced to new merchandise this way,” says Burke.

Merchandise that doesn’t sell goes through Goodwill’s extensive recycling process, with the majority of it being salvaged and repurposed — like clothing, for instance, which can be repurposed for insulation.

Goodwill Central Coast, which covers Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, operates three career centers, five donation processing centers, 25 attended donation stations, 16 stores, and one vocational school. It also employs more than 600 people in three counties.

For more information, see or call 423-8611.

In other news this week:

• It’s been almost three years since fire decimated the Grey Bears’ original thrift store building, but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new store is poised to open, thanks to support from donors, volunteers and community partners.

The senior support/recycling nonprofit is inviting the public to visit the new Grey Bears Thrift Store at opening ceremonies this Tuesday at 11 a.m., which will include a ribbon-cutting, hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, and discounts at 2710 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz.

For details, see or call 479-1055, ext. 226.

• Keeping Pacific Grove beautiful and protecting the marine environment are the aims of “Pick It Up PG!” this Sunday from 7:30-11 a.m. The annual cleanup effort joins the community with local Boy and Girl Scouts as well as the Pacific Grove High School baseball team.

All are welcome to help out, with the event command post at the Lovers Point parking lot. The city of Pacific Grove will supply bags, gloves, a water jug to refill your water bottles, a dumpster and support staff.

Trash pickup areas include Lighthouse Avenue from 13th to Cypress, one block north and one block south, as well as Ocean Boulevard and the Recreation Trail from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to Lovers Point, and associated parks and landscaped areas along the way. (The Lovers Point and beach areas will be handled by the Scouts and PGHS team members.)

Also supporting the effort are Sustainable Pacific Grove, Surfrider Foundation, Save The Whales, and the Monterey Regional Stormwater Education Alliance. Those who want to participate can RSVP to Milas Smith, 648-3188 or

Do you have questions or tips about sustainable living around the Central Coast? Send them to Kathryn McKenzie at Follow Kathryn McKenzie at

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