MARION — The Just As Nice Thrift Store in Lake City will soon be twice as nice when a branch of the popular shop opens in Marion.

In April or early May, Friends Ministry — the nonprofit Christian group that operates the thrift store — will celebrate the grand opening of a second Just As Nice location at 103 E. Main St. in premises that have stood vacant for months following the closing of the Marion Pharmacy.

Area residents welcome activity once again in a building that housed a pharmacy in their community for more than 80 years.

Volunteers are busy remodeling the interior of the Marion property — installing dry wall, painting and adding shelving, racks and display cases. Their goal is to be ready soon to receive the clothing, household items, dishes, toys, books, tools and other wares which make up the inventory of the store.

All of the goods for sale are usable items donated by community residents. The Marion store will stock the full range of merchandise offered at the Lake City location, with the exception of furniture and other bulky items.

The Marion store, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, will be staffed by volunteers and a manager.

“Items that people want to donate for the new Marion store should be dropped off at the Lake City store,” said Baas. “We don’t have the capability of accepting donations in Marion, but we’re excited about sharing God’s love in a new place and being able to reach out to people. We hope our wide range of items that are such good values will be of benefit to many in the community.”

According to Mark Mortenson, director of Friends Ministry, the Lake City Just As Nice Store regularly receives such an abundance of generous donations that the board of directors began to explore the idea of opening a second store.

The group prayed about the possibility of expanding, and a benefactor came forward and donated the building in Marion to the group.

“So, now, it’s with a sense of joy that we bring low-cost goods to Marion,” said Mortenson. “We’re glad to share God’s blessings. God works best when you get to know people and this is a relationship-building ministry. We hope we’ll have many new volunteers from the Marion area who’ll want to use their gifts by donating some time working with us in the store.”

For information about volunteer opportunities and the paid manager position, contact Sally Baas, manager of the Lake City store, at (231) 839-5683. To learn more about the programs and services of Friends Ministry, contact Mortenson at (231) 839-8816 or visit friendsministry.net.

The ministry headquarters and Just As Nice Thrift Store are at 3728 S. Morey Road (M-66), Lake City.