By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — A recent theft almost kept Laura Barker from opening her new business.
Now, Finders Keepers is open for business at 16 Crystal Ave., the site of the former Country Cupboard gift shop.
Barker’s original scheduled Aug. 1 grand opening was put off a few weeks after thieves broke into the building last month, stealing service tools, merchandise and copper plumbing.
The plumbing theft left the business with water damage and no bathroom facilities.
Barker also had to wait longer for the town’s occupancy permits to kick in following the theft and subsequent repair work.
People stepped up to help.
“A local contractor stepped in to help assemble shelving and install our counters,” she said. “Since all the tools were also stolen, a resident loaned the shop tools until they were able to be replaced.”
Now the store is open, offering new and used items with proceeds going to support New Hampshire Make-A-Wish and other local charities.
The store also supports military troops and their families through the Buffman Project.
Buffman was a Marine who died in Afghanistan. The project began to send care packages off in the soldier’s memory.
“We sell new, used and unusual items to raise money for the charities we support,” Barker said. “Some items are donated, and some are purchased through estate settlements so there is always a large variety of different things.”
Barker already has a store in Exeter and found an opportunity to open a second shop in Derry.
She said the first few days in her new store have been successful.
Knowing that proceeds will go to help others is an added bonus.
“You get to help the kids here, and also our combat troops,” she said. “It’s a fun store and you can get great bargains.”
Donations including household items, clothing and furniture are accepted at Finders Keepers Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pickups can be arranged for larger items and estates.
Call for information in Derry at 818-4252 or visit finderskeepersnh.com. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.