It has been a long road for Ministry Assistance of the Near Northwest Alliance (MANNA) to reopen its resale shop after an arsonist destroyed it in September 2017.
Now, after some detours, the shop has opened at a new location in the White Oak Bayou Village Shopping Center at 6760 Antoine Dr.
MANNA executive director Nia Amuzie said the space in the plaza was formerly occupied by the nonprofit Love146, an organization that works toward the abolition of child trafficking and exploitation and funded its efforts with its own resale store called Reimagine. Because the group was looking to relocate back to Connecticut, MANNA acquired the rest of its lease and much of its inventory.
The new space is 4,800 square feet and offers housewares, clothing, jewelry, shoes, toys, books and more.
Amuzie said many people from the area stopped in during the last two weeks while MANNA volunteers were cleaning and preparing to open. And on the first day of business, people unfamiliar with MANNA and its mission were some of its first customers.
“We had a lot of walk-ins,” Amuzie said.
Originally, MANNA had signed a five-year lease at 3425 Couch St., which used to house Paws Pet Resort. Amuzie said MANNA is using that location for storage and hopes to use it as a furniture store at some point.
Amuzie said the reason for the resale location change was due to permitting issues.
“The city requires 25 parking spaces for a retail shop, but the location only has 12,” Amuzie said.
Amuzie said there were other structural changes that would have been required by the city. She said the rules were less strict for a furniture store, although MANNA is still in negotiation with the city about requirements for a sidewalk addition.
An added benefit of the While Oak location is its proximity to the MANNA food pantry, which opened across the street in January.
“We are serving 800 to 900 people a month,” said Amuzie, whose organization gets food from the Houston Food Bank and Kroger. “People are excited that it’s not just canned food. It’s fresh vegetables, too.”
Those wanting to donate goods to the resale shop can drop off at the Antoine location. For furniture or pick-up requests, donors should e-mail email@example.com.
“We’re continuing to get the word out,” Amuzie said.
Typical store hours will be Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.