SEASIDE — The city’s growing thrift store community added another to its ranks when The Dung Yard opened in September.
Roger Cunningham’s store, tucked away in the corner at 1803 S. Roosevelt, offers tools, camping gear, clothing and an assortment of home decor in addition to odds and ends.
The store opened Sept. 4
Cunningham agrees Seaside has a number of thrift stores already, but he sees that as a good thing.
“Seaside has to be known for something,” he said. “If it’s known for thrift stores, we’ll draw a lot of people.”
He said there’s room for his store in the Seaside market; all the stores carry different things. The Dung Yard has lower end items, he said.
“Where else can you get a good jacket or shirt for $5?” he asked.
He also carries a selection of hand tools priced to sell.
“The Locals have been fantastic,” Cunningham said. “Without them we would’ve folded by now.”
Meeting people has been one of the highlights of opening the business, he added. It’s mostly him running the store.
His wife, Chandra, and his son, Ridge, help out when they can.
Cunningham started out with a storage unit full of items. Ridge picks for him when he can, and people come into the store with items they’d like to buy, sell or trade, he said.
Most items sell low and make just a little money, he said. He’s looking for a few higher end items to keep in the store.
“They can make a big difference to the bottom line,” he said. But they aren’t as big payday as you might think, he adds.
Shoppers will notice the sign outside just says The Yard with a recycling symbol in between. His landlord wasn’t thrilled with the name The Dung Yard on the outside of the building. The sign is a compromise.
The unconventional name has a story, Cunningham said. It dates back to the early 1960s when Cunningham had just finished his service in the Navy. He noticed some good items being dumped at the San Francisco dump, so he bought the salvage rights for $20 a day.
He and a friend began pulling out items and piling them up to recycle.
The sign at Cunningham’s Seaside store hearkens back to those days at the San Francisco dump when Cunningham asked his friend to put up a sign to let the workers know they were recycling the items. He climbed up a hill and found a sign that read “The Dung Yard.”
He asked his friend about it, and he told him the bulldozer driver at the dump said they reminded him of dung beetles pushing dung up a hill. Besides, he couldn’t spell recycling.
It’s come full circle with the sign Cunningham actually wanted at the dump more than 50 years ago.
The Dung Yard is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Tuesday. Call 503-717-4126 for more information.