Thrifters who like the thrill of the hunt, here’s one for you.
There is a second-hand store called the Pink Cow Thrift Shop at the Wesley United Methodist Church at 1343 E. Barstow Ave. in Fresno. It earns hidden-gem status because of its limited hours worked by an all-volunteer staff: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month.
The store started as a service to neighbors in the El Dorado Park neighborhood helping them afford basics like clothes and housewares. But it blossomed into something much bigger and open to the public. It has a happy little back story involving free coffee and bagels, welcoming people and a pink cow figurine.
“Our church is open to all. We are part of the neighborhood,” says Laney Pollock, one of three Pink Cow managers. They started the shop “to help make things affordable to neighbors, but we’re open to the public.”
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It has pretty much what you’d expect in a thrift store: Clothes, shoes, dishes, books, etc. But instead of dated cable-knit sweaters, you’ll find tops from White House Black Market, Talbots and J.Jill.
We have lots of purses because ladies love to buy purses.
Laney Pollock, Pink Cow Thrift Shop
Adult clothing is $2.98 costs apiece and kids clothing is $1.76 each. It has a dressing room (like any good thrift shop should).
“I went around to all the big thrift stores and we were the cheapest,” Pollock confides, though the store is cash only.
When suits and dress clothes don’t sell, the Pink Cow donates them to an organization that provides interview clothes to newly released prisoners.
When they had too many prom dresses, they supplied them to students who needed them.
Each month, they donate money to the church. What’s left over at the end of the year went to five charities .
The shop got its name from a pink cow figurine – complete with silver heels, a pink purse and bejeweled glasses – that is now displayed under glass.
The shop is about eight years old. It has grown three times, moving around the church campus. It can take a little hunting to find it. Just follow the pink signs.
If you’re there between 10 a.m. and noonish on Tuesdays, you’ll likely get invited to sit down for free coffee and day-old Uncle Harry’s bagels in a nearby room. That’s the Peace & Justice Cafe, something the church does for the neighborhood, a reporter or anyone else who happens by.
On a rainy recent Tuesday, a church member was at the thrift shop, buying a shirt for a man in a wheelchair at the cafe who had gotten drenched on the way there.