In late 2008, I leased a corner storefront on Bay Street.  It was one of the best real estate deals I have ever made and not because of the commission.  On that day, I met and became acquainted with a group of people who have touched my heart.


The Bay Street Thrift came to life at 1090 Bay Street, in the Rosebank section of Staten Island and is sponsored by Baltic Street AEH Inc. whose mission is--Advocacy, Housing and Education for people with mental illnesses.   

The Bay Street Thrift offers training in retail sales, stock work and maintenance to consumers of mental health services who are then prepared to work jobs in competitive employment. 


 Shortly after the Thrift opened, I popped my head in to see how they were doing.  The store was so artfully arranged, women’s clothes sorted by colors (“How did they know I hate to shop but love to shop by color?”  I wondered), household items, art work, small appliances, jewelry, knick-knacks, shelves of material, men’s suits, children’s clothes and small toys.  I was hooked!  I discovered outfits with price tags affixed that had never been worn.  Clothes that fit me perfectly were on the racks and at a price that could not be beat anywhere.  I bought retro-jewelry, material that have become new curtains in my home, baskets to store just about anything and new pots and pans.  At Christmas, the store is a winter wonderland.  Ornaments, decorations, great gifts equal a happy shopping experience (vs. standing in lines at the Mall!).




Most importantly, whenever I’m feeling unable to focus or want a happiness boost, I make a point to visit my friends at Bay Street Thrift.  The consumers/workers-in-training aim to please whenever a customer enters their shop.  They are not pushy but can tell you where everything is and direct you to whatever obscure item you may be looking for (if they do, indeed, have it).  The workers’ attitude is refreshing; they are happy to be there.  I visited today and was surprised to find an early 1900’s piano, (which I did not purchase), RevereWare, two outfits and lovely serving trays (which I did purchase).  Donations are made every day.  You will not be sorry if you visit on a regular basis.  All type of treasures await you!















All items sold in the Thrift are donated by members of the community (tax receipts are gladly given).  Bay Street Thrift is a not-for-profit store located at the corner of St. Mary’s Avenue.  It is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 – 5:00.  Donations can be dropped off at any time during business hours. 

For more information about the Bay Street Thrift and/or Baltic Street AEH, Inc. please call Suanne Spinelli, Program Manager at 718-447-2140 or view the Baltic Street web site at 

Let me know what treasures you have found at Bay Street Thrift.  Write me below or at or call me at 646-258-9696.

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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