The Cellar Thrift Shop was a First Church and Berkeley institution that first opened in 1986. It offered a wide range of attractive bargains that anyone could afford. It was open on Wednesday from 10 am-4 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, and before and after the Sunday morning worship services.
The Shop was staffed by a helpful and committed group of volunteers who sorted, priced and displayed thousands of items each month. Each quarter the proceeds of the Cellar Thrift Shop were given away: more than $1,500 a month went to outreach projects, more than $300 a month went to the church’s operating budget, and over $1000 went to special projects.
A few of the organizations that have benefitted from Cellar Thrift Shop donations are Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing, Berkeley Chaplaincy to the Homeless, the Haiti Food Program, and Berkeley Free Clinic.
The Cellar Thrift Shop was destroyed in a fire in September of 2016 that engulfed the southern end of the church campus, the part of the building that was called Pilgrim Hall. Plans are still being developed for the replacement of Pilgrim Hall and having a Thrift Shop is one of the items being considered in that process.