Nifty Thrifty looks for new home as Ayrshire Building eyes renovations


Founded in 1975 by Bette Moffett, the Nifty Thrifty thrift shop has been located all over the town of Brandon in those years. Now, they are looking for what will be their seventh location and asking for the community’s help to find a building that will suit their needs.

 “We are looking for a new place right now,” Mary Bradbury, treasurer of the Nifty Thrifty board said. “We are hoping for a place near downtown, but at street level, because many of our customers don’t do well with stairs.”

The shop takes in donations of used clothing and other goods and resells them to donate the profits back to local charities. Their website claims that as of 2011 the store had given more than $250,000 back to the community.

It is currently located in the Ayrshire building, at 5 Carver Street, but will need to be out in three months. Bradbury said they have had plenty of offers to help move everything; they just need to figure out where they’ll be moving.

“The new owners gave us 90 days to be out,” Bradbury said, “but we had already discussed looking for a new location. We have to be out by July 5, but are hoping to be out before that.”


The new owners are Drs. Derek and Jillian Snare, a married couple of dentists, who bought the building and dental practice from Ben Lawton last September. They are working to restore the building to its original shine, but said they still have a lot of work to do.

“We would like to be able to lease the building to more medical professionals,” Derek said. “The building has so much potential, but (much of) it hasn’t been maintained over the years.”

The couple has renovated a portion of the upstairs level to an apartment where they live, and are currently replacing the roof.

“The roof that is being torn off is the original roof,” Jillian said, detailing the work needed for the 45-year-old building. “Next we have to replace the boiler, which has been patched for now, and the list goes on.”

The Snares said when they were looking for places to set down a practice after a stint in the Air Force, one question they kept asking was, “What kind of building do we want our kids to inherit?”

After moving in and setting up their dental practice, one thing they said they kept hearing was the need for more medical services in Brandon, especially an optometrist.

“We want to be able to provide the community with services they need,” Derek said. “And being able to speak the same language as other medical practitioners, it makes sense to be able to provide them space here.”

Those plans require operations like Nifty Thrifty to find another location, the Snares acknowledged, but added their appears to be enough space in town and they deliberately gave the store ample time to make a smooth transition. “We want to do our part to help build a better Brandon,” Derek added. “The opportunity to contribute to the future of the town and to Vermont is exciting.”

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