Customers line up for Salvation Army Family Store re-opening

CAMBRIDGE — Saturday’s steady rain didn’t stop deal seekers from flooding the Salvation Army Family Store when it re-opened on US Rt. 50 in Cambridge.

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff
The husband and wife team of Salvation Army — Cambridge Capts. Aaron and Rebekah Abram cut the ribbon during the grand re-opening of the Salvation Army Family Store on Saturday in Cambridge.

As the clock approached 10 a.m., officials and Salvation Army staff, in their dress blues and red vests, addressed the occasion with a few remarks, and a Dorchester Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting. The parking lot was completely full, and a crowd lined up outside, anxious for the doors to open. Finally, the shopping began as soon as the ribbon was cut. Customers walked diligently to neatly organized clothes racks, furniture, shelves full of home decor and appliances.

The old store at Cambridge Plaza closed roughly a month before the grand re-opening at the new store. At the time, Salvation Army — Cambridge Capt. Aaron Abram announced that the Family Store was moving to a bigger building with better visibility on Route 50. The facility offers roughly 1,000 more square feet in retail space, and allows staff to collect more donations.

A team of Salvation Army merchandising and marketing experts came from Atlanta to help set up the new store. Also, Capt. Abram said a month ago that the new store would be stocked with items new to Cambridge — no old stock would carry over from the old store.

On Saturday, the crowd of shoppers proved that they got the message. Just before the doors opened, Capt. Abram and his wife, Capt. Rebekah Abram, thanked the many people who attended the ribbon cutting.

“We’re very excited to open this new location after six weeks of hard work by our team, and our experts from Atlanta,” Capt. Aaron said. “We’re excited about what this means for our ability to get more product in, and to raise revenue, in order to turn that around directly into services for our community. We’re very excited about what the future holds.”

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley makes the first purchase at the Salvation Army store in Cambridge.

Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley is a member of the advisory board for the Salvation Army, and the Rev. George Ames is a former chairman. Both the mayor and Rev. Ames said the location is ideal. With it’s freshly painted red awning and frontage on Route 50, the new store will attract shoppers going to and from Ocean City.

“As a former chair of the Salvation Army, when I saw this project coming to fruition, my heart was glad,” the Rev. Ames said. “I wish you God speed.”

Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers pointed to the line of soon-to-be shoppers as evidence of success.

“You couldn’t have a more beautiful place to be in. You’ve done an excellent job with it,” Mr. Travers said. “The folks waiting outside says it all. They’re absolutely lined up, no parking spots here. It’s just great. The community is ready, and it looks to me like you’re ready for them too.”

But it was a bittersweet moment, as some tears were shed when Mayor Jackson-Stanley announced that the Abrams are moving to Kentucky in a month. Many of those who attended the ribbon cutting wished the Abrams success in their new venture, and thanked them for their service to Cambridge, Dorchester County, and the Mid-Shore.

“I will miss you two from the bottom of my heart,” Mr. Travers said. “It’s been great working with you on all levels.”

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff
Soon-to-be shoppers line up in the rain Saturday outside the Salvation Army Family Store for the grand re-opening on Route 50 in Cambridge.

But then it was time to get down to business: the doors opened, the ribbon was cut, and the damp crowd rushed in.

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