Flatirons Habitat for Humanity Restore and Thrift

'Restore’ makes many Habitat homes possible in Broomfield, Boulder areas

Since it opened in July 2002, the Flatirons Habitat for Humanity Restore and Thrift has theoretically paid for the construction of 10 homes.

The restore was founded to help generate income for Flatirons Habitat for Humanity beyond the grants and fundraising it depended on since the organization started in 1993, says general manager Adam Baksa.

“We realized that there was a lot of income to be made to cover overhead costs,” Baksa says, noting the store’s entire profit goes to Habitat to offset funding for the homes it builds.

It costs about $100,000 to build a Habitat for Humanity home in the area Flatirons Habitat for Humanity serves – the city and county of Broomfield and Boulder Valley School District – and that’s about the restore’s annual net sales, according to Baksa. That equates to the restore funding a home a year.

The restore and thrift have a 10,000-square-foot sales floor on which they offer construction and building materials, home furnishings and a variety of other things found in a home, such as kitchen cabinets, toilets and hardwood flooring.

“You name it and we essentially take it,” Baksa says.

The restore’s crew cleans up donations and makes minor repairs, but if it can’t fix something like an appliance, it is sold for scrap metal and the profit goes to Habitat, he says.

Three full-time and two part-time employees, 20 dedicated volunteers and approximately 10 unique monthly volunteers make up the restore’s staff, with volunteers logging 7,307 hours last year – or 130 hours a week.

“It (their time) is vital,” Baksa says. “Without volunteers, there’s no way we could handle the amount of donations; without our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to exist.”

While about half of those volunteers are from Broomfield, others come from Boulder, Arvada and Louisville as well as other parts of the region, he notes.

“We have a pretty solid mix,” Baksa says, noting that none of the restore’s employees actually live in Broomfield but rather commute from Adams County and Boulder. “We all live within 15- 20 minutes of the store.”

Like most Habitat for Humanity restores and other thrift stores, some customers are just people who shop there because they like getting a bargain and others shop there so they can buy a nice stove, furniture or other items that they couldn’t afford otherwise, he says.

“We help families build tangible houses but we’re also helping people every day who need good, quality items,” Baksa says.

When the economy took a dive in 2008, it wasn’t so much the restore’s sales that were hit as its quality donations, he says.

“But this year they started to kick back up and we’re seeing more donations,” Baksa notes. “The income has remained steady.”

Baksa points out that the restore’s sales in July through September – its first fiscal quarter – exceeded sales projections and it looks like its second-quarter sales, which is makes the entire fiscal year look promising.

“We’re going to be above our projections for this year,” he says.

And the year will also be a good one for four families whose Flatiron Habitat for Humanity homes were dedicated Dec. 1 in Lafayette.

The Flatirons ReStore and Thrift is located at 6900 W. 117th Ave., Suite 400, in Broomfield. Winter store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call (303) 404-2008 or visit www.flatironsthrift.com for more information or to make a donation.