One of the reasons that I love the City is that I always see something new and surprising. This was especially true recently when I stumbled upon a thrift store in – of all places – that tourist mecca known as Ghirardelli Square. While it prefers to be known as a “charity store,” you will find both new and gently-used upscale pieces and wonderful, vintage items whose sales support a non-profit organization called Helpers of the Mentally Retarded – a program that helps those who are developmentally disabled by providing homes where residents can live in dignity.
Helpers Bazaar is rather special when it comes to thrift stores, though, because its donors happen to be some of the City’s social elite, so you could easily find upscale designer wear, as well as some of the most beautiful costume jewelry around – and they could very likely have been worn by some of San Francisco’s most famous residents. Joy Venturini Bianchi, the store’s Director isn’t naming any names, though. She is the store’s style maven who wears outragously unique eyewear and has the heart of a saint.
(Photo by sfluxe)
The day we visited Joy told us that she was on the verge of tears earlier that day because no one was coming into the store. Suddenly, it was like the clouds parted and shoppers started streaming in to discover the store’s hidden gems.
Helpers Bazaar is located just below the Crown and Crumpet Tea Room in Ghirardelli Square on the Lower Plaza level. All I can tell you is that you, too, will likely be surprised. Be sure to buy a $1 raffle ticket or two. You could win a $595 gift certificate to Saks Fifth Avenue, a Five Course Dinner for Two at Gary Danko or a Sterling Silver Key Pendant from Tiffany’s. There’s no better “thrifting” than this in the Bay Area! And, once you go there, you will see why. Especially, if you’re lucky enough to meet Joy.Helpers Bazaar in Ghirardelli Square 900 North Point Street – Lower Plaza San Francisco, CA 94109
Hours: Open Daily 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.Helpers House of Couture By appointment only
Benefits Helpers of the Mentally Retarded, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the developmentally disabled.