NORTH ADAMS -- The Guilded Cage Gift Shop, a favorite shop-stop on Summer Street, is in new hands this year.
Though the store remains an offshoot of All Saints Episcopal Church and is run by members of the church guild, principal store operator Tondra Manuel has stepped down after six years, leaving Jim and Marian Crawford at the helm.
"We'd love to see Jim and Marian succeed with it and of course we'll be there helping with whatever they need," Manuel said.
The store opened on May 12 this year with plans to keep hours until Christmas, roughly.
Items for sale comprise a broad range of offerings, from jewelry to furniture and home goods, knitting materials, handcrafted items, books, clothing and more.
"We started it because the ladies of the guild were all getting very old and we couldn't have a bazaar anymore," Manuel said. "We decided we'd open the store and try to have it be something like a bazaar."
The store is nonprofit and all proceeds go to the church's operating expenses and community outreach. Its stock of items is harvested from local donors.
"We take everything, and if we can't use it, we give it to the Goodwill or somebody else," Manuel said. "We've always seen quite a lot of street traffic."
Historically, sales from the store have raised upwards of $6,000 per year, which is then put back toward the church or donated to local charities like the Louison House in Adams.
"We're very excited about keeping it open," Norcross said. "... For a small church shop, they've done an incredible job. Most of the money that's raised there goes to our operating budget for the church and also they donate a lot of it to different organizations in the community."
In addition to the new overseers, the shop has enjoyed the benefits of a merger -- when the former St. John's merged with Adams' St. Mark's in Dec. 2010 to become All Saints Episcopal Church -- and has seen increased participation from some members of the latter parish.
Though participation still isn't quite where Guild members want it to be, they hope to keep the shop running for years into the future.
"It's been a very successful thing and we're trying to keep it going," Manuel said.
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