Ocean State Job Lot celebrates grand opening in Fairhaven

FAIRHAVEN — Nothing brings the people out quite like shopping and cake.

On Saturday morning in Fairhaven, people from all over SouthCoast made their way to the new Ocean State Job Lot location — 11 Berdon Rd. — for the grand opening of the new space. The opening marked location 127 for the company, and coincided with the 40th anniversary of the business, which was celebrated with a commemorative cake.

Regional Director Darlene Poulin said that although “we are not new to the city, I think it’s new and improved.”

Along with the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, the Rhode Island based retail store decided to use the occasion to make some donations to area organizations. Newberry Public Relations President Betty Galligan, representing Ocean State Job Lot, stated that the company is “really committed to finding out what the community needs.”

The recipient of the organization’s “close to our heart” initiative was United Way of Greater New Bedford. Vice President of resource development Maureen Sylvia was on-hand to accept the $500 check. Other groups receiving donations were the Acushnet based Shepherd’s Pantry and Dartmouth based Humane Society and Shelter SouthCoast.

District Manager Rich Damaso says that he is “most proud of what we do with charities.” He further explained that he is excited about how the store has developed in his years there, and credits the community for their impact on their continued growth.

Fairhaven officials expect the opening of this store to spark an influx of other new businesses in the surrounding area, and are excited about the prospects of the revitalization of the store front that according to Fairhaven Business Association President Cathy Melanson had sat empty for nearly four years.

“We were getting a little sad,” said Melanson, “but when I pulled into the parking lot I had a smile on my face.”

In addition to the positive impact on town psyche, Fairhaven Selectman Bob Espindola said it could have an even greater impact in terms of jobs. He stated that the larger footprint has already led to Ocean State Job Lot increasing the employee count by 25 percent.

“This is a very positive thing for the town,” said Espindola. “This portion of town is starting to come back to life.”

Published in the Standard Times Aug. 19, 2017 http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20170819/ocean-state-job-lot-celebrates-grand-opening-in-fairhaven