Golden Goose offers unique shopping experience
15970 N. Oracle Rd.
On the morning of Tuesday, March 20, about 225 people were lined up outside the Golden Goose Thrift Shop before the doors opened for business. For the volunteers of Golden Goose, the sight was not unfamiliar, as the store has maintained a regular stream of customers since opening almost nine years ago.
Celebrating its two-year anniversary at its new location on 15970 N. Oracle Road, Golden Goose is on track to hit the $4 million profit mark this year. The numbers are impressive enough, but even more impressive is the fact that 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to local charities.
“It’s something that really sets us apart from your average thrift store,” said manager Stephanie Urdiales. “We take a lot of pride in that, and it’s very fulfilling.”
Nestled between Catalina and Saddlebrooke, the store’s proceeds are divided between the two communities, with half going to Catalina Community Services and the other half to Saddlebrooke Community Outreach. Each community then divides the profits between several specific charities, including youth programs and scholarship funds.
Golden Goose, which receives its entire inventory from public donations, is able to pass on big savings to customers. With two truckloads of donations arriving each day, excess inventory is often marked down to as much as 75 percent off. The inventory includes clothes, sporting goods, furniture, home decorations, electronics, linens, and much more.
“We recently sold a walk in bathtub, valued at $10,000 for $2,400,” said Urdiales. “And then we have things like hardware, where you can get two items for a quarter. It’s really top to bottom savings.”
Day manager, Ann Coziahr, said customers and volunteers are proud to be a part of the Golden Goose mission.
“People are happy to shop here when they see how the community is being benefited,” said Coziahr. “Volunteers are happy to work here. We have a lot of fun and become friends with many of our customers.”
In total, about 500 volunteers, mostly retired area residents, dedicate their time each week to make Golden Goose a pleasurable experience for shoppers. According to sporting goods manager, Curt Stowell, giving back to the community is payment enough for his services.
“This is a great place to be a part of,” he said. “My wife works for Kid’s Closet, so we both enjoy dedicating our time to these types of programs.”
Kids Closet, one of the charities catered to under the Saddlebrooke Community Services program, managed to give 2,000 needy children new wardrobes last year.
Urdiales said the friendly, hardworking staff is a big reason for the store’s success.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have what we have here,” she said.
According to Urdiales, much of the store’s large customer base has come from word of mouth, along with a successful ad campaign.
Coziahr said people are proud to talk about Golden Goose.
“There’s a certain magic here you won’t find other places,” she said. “You’ll always hear people say, ‘I got this at the Goose,’” she said. “People aren’t embarrassed to be shopping at this thrift store.”
Nor should they be, as according to Stowell, each volunteer of Golden Goose takes pride in the store being clean, fresh smelling, visibly appealing, and inviting.
“It’s certainly an area of pride for us here,” he said.
Golden Goose is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Shoppers can also take advantage of online shopping for store items, as Golden Goose has listings on eBay.com.
More information on the Golden Goose, including drop-off times, pick-up scheduling, and charities catered to can be found on www.goldengooseaz.com.