Carolyn Jenkins was trying to maneuver her wheelchair Monday to make it to the register of Lake Forest Good Samaritan Village’s new store, which occupies just 120 square feet.
“I think I got it,” she said, pressing the controls on her chair and trying to avoid bumping into anything.
Jenkins bought a couple of dinners and some energy bars and spent $15.25.
“I am trying to make a care package for my grandson who is recovering from knee surgery,” she said.
Jenkins said she loves the new store because she doesn’t get to shop often.
“Being in a wheelchair, I have to rely on other people to take me shopping,” she said.
Bridgette Scott, who started as Lake Forest’s new administrator in January, said residents had been working diligently since last fall to open a much-needed store at the senior living community, at 3901 Montecito Drive.
“We are a community, and it does not only involve our living and social situation but also retail,” Scott said.
Residents have volunteered to buy items for the store, Scott said. And 22 of them will help sell merchandise, according to a list at the shop.
“I will be here every Monday,” said Tina Cupps, a massage therapist at Lake Forest and one of the volunteers.
Cupps said she will work three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon to help sell milk, snacks, soup and other items.
Scott said funds from the store will be reinvested to buy new merchandise or to help residents who need assistance paying bills.
The store is open for Lake Forest’s 200 residents — some who live independently, some who require assisted-living or rehabilitation and skilled-care services — but the shop is also open to the non-residents, Scott said.
The Denton Good Samaritan Village, at 2500 Hinkle Drive, has had a store for a number of years, Scott said.
Jason Padgett, a business banker with Wells Fargo and a member of Lake Forest’s community advisory board, he was glad to see the shop open.
“When I heard they wanted to open a store … we helped them set up all the business accounts for the store,” Padgett said. “Now they don’t have to go out for their banking … [or] for their groceries.”
Forty-five minutes into the store’s debut, one item was already sold out.
“We are already sold out of Fig Newtons,” Cupps said.
In case of customer complaints, one volunteer pointed to a sign on the wall printed on fluorescent green paper.
“Got a complaint? The Chapel is across the hall,” the sign reads. “Pray about it.”
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
LAKE FOREST GOOD SAMARITAN VILLAGE STORE
Address: 3901 Montecito Drive
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday
How to help: Volunteers are needed to help staff the store. For more information, call 940-891-0856.