When they left Toronto a little more than a year ago, Jane Trollope and Darrin Ward had no idea they would soon be taking over a long-standing Beaverton business.
Under the leadership of the husband and wife team, Shirley’s Country Clutter reopened for business on Tuesday (Sept. 5). It was previously owned and operated by Shirley Stephenson for more than two decades.
The duo moved to Beaverton on Sept. 1, 2016, after leaving their jobs as Toronto Transit Commission drivers. They renovated their home and sought the next adventure, a decision that ultimately lead them to Shirley’s.
Stephenson, who has offered to help the couple with the transition, says she met a few people interested in taking over her store but “it just clicked” when she met Trollope and Ward.
“They’re lovely, I love them,” she says of the couple.
Trollope says people can expect the same loving, welcoming feeling when they visit the store as the couple continues operating the business just as Stephenson did for more than two decades.
“We haven’t changed anything…It has worked for 24 years as it is,” says Trollope, noting one tradition in particular she’s looking forward to continuing.
“Everyone who came in the store got a big hug from Shirley,” she says. “I want to keep that going.”
Although the store wasn’t officially open, Trollope says a curious customer popped by on Monday (Sept. 4) to take a look. The shopper not only bought something, she kindly offered Trollope a warm welcome in the form of a hug.
It was a lovely feeling to be so embraced by a member of the community, she says, and she’s looking forward to meeting many more.
“We’re excited to get to know everybody in town. It’s a new adventure we’re embarking on here.”
As a way to meet the people of Beaverton, an official opening party is being planned for September 14, complete with cake and coffee.
Stephenson is also excited about what the future holds.
“I’m just glad the business has gone to a nice young couple who feel the same way about it as I did — excited,” she says.
“I never said I was off to work, I would say I was off to play.”
The job was made even easier, she says, by the many lovely staff members who supported her over the years.
“They’ve all been so wonderful. My customers loved talking to them…they were always caring, supportive and helpful,” she says, adding how much she appreciated their hard work and dedication.
“I’d like for them to know that.”
After her husband passed away a few years ago, Stephenson says the store was never quite the same. Operating the business also took away from the time she could spend with her family, a problem she no longer has now that she knows her store is in good hands.
“They’re wonderful people. I’m so glad they moved to Beaverton and were interested in taking over the store,” she says.
Another Beaverton business, Community Chest, is also changing hands.
As of Oct. 1, Susan Numan will take over the thrift store currently owned by Sandy Schad.
Schad recently issued a call for “an entrepreneurial individual who is interested in running their own business” to take over the Community Chest.
“I can’t believe how many people were interested in taking over and felt terrible having to turn people down. I never expected that kind of response but it shows the value of the store to the community,” says Schad.
“(The new owner will) be closed for a short time while they revamp the store a bit to suit their ideas and the open again after Thanksgiving weekend.”