16th Largest Goodwill In The Nation Opens In Rockingham, N.C. | PHOTOS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont celebrated the grand opening of a unique new store in Rockingham, N.C.

Officials say the new store is the organization’s largest yet, at more than 35,000 square feet, taking over the former Lidl on US Highway 74 Business.

In addition to the traditional drive-up donation drop off and shopping, officials say the new store will feature a locally owned café, a one-thousand square foot community room for events, and a store-within-a-store aka the second location of the nonprofit’s technology store, The GRID: Powered by Goodwill.

Officials say this first-of-its-kind store marks the second grand opening for the local nonprofit this year.

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont also has plans to open 25 new stores in the next five years, allowing the nonprofit to repurpose more items and raise more funds to serve the community through its career training and employment services.

“We’re so excited about our ability to expand our footprint into Rockingham and contribute to the growth of this part of our region,” said Jose Luis, chief operating officer at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “This new concept store will allow Goodwill to connect with the community through partnership with local entrepreneurs and our community space. We believe in this new concept so much, that we are working with Boos Development Group, Inc. to recreate this approach again in Shelby later this year!”

Officials say this opening marks the nonprofits 27th store in the greater Charlotte region and the first in Richmond County, N.C.

The new store will bring 30 new jobs to the region and has an estimated economic impact of $3.3 million annually, according to a news release.

Officials say the store will also allow Goodwill to connect more deeply with the community through the community space and partnership with local entrepreneurs operating The Salty Bean, a locally-owned and family-operated café that will operate within the space.

“Since our first meeting with Goodwill, we were sold on the concept and what the organization is envisioning for the community. Rockingham has been our home for going on 15 years now, and we look forward serving and giving back to Richmond County for the foreseeable future,” said Elizabeth Campos, co-owner of The Salty Bean. “This partnership will give us an opportunity to expand our services and the number of guests we can accommodate. We intend to provide a space for people to gather – a place where people can sit for a few hours, socialize, and have a great cup of coffee with friends and colleagues,” he added.

Officials say regular hours for the new store are Monday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The first 100 Goodwill shoppers will receive a free reusable shopping tote, and golden gift cards, with amounts varying from $5 to $20, will be hidden throughout the store, throughout the day!