The new Hotline Thrift Store in Frisco will officially open with a big celebration on Wednesday, June 26

The new Hotline Thrift Store in Frisco will officially open with a big celebration on Wednesday, June 26

The new home of the Hotline Thrift Store in Frisco. Photo by Outer Banks Hotline.

After months of anticipation by the Hatteras Island community, the new Hotline Thrift Store in Frisco will officially open its doors to the public on Wednesday, June 26, 9:00 a.m.and the opening day of the store promises to be a big celebration.

“The community support has been incredible,” said Bronwyn Thornton, executive director of the Outer Banks Hotline. “People wanted to help us every step of the way, including our opening day.”

When Tavern on 12, Frisco Sandwich Company and Frisco Rod and Gun learned of the upcoming opening, they contacted the Outer Banks Hotline and offered to provide free food and drinks for the event. In addition, the Frisco Volunteer Fire Department offered to bring one of its fire trucks for the occasion.

“The kids will be so excited when they see the fire truck,” Thornton said.

The excitement about the opening is understandable, as in 2024 the island community briefly feared that the store might close forever.

Hotline has been a fixture on Hatteras Island for more than 35 years. The Outer Banks’ very first Hotline Thrift Store opened in Rodanthe in 1987 (a store that is still in operation today), and a second store followed in Hatteras Village about a decade later before moving to Buxton after Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

Buxton Hotline in January 2024 before it was closed. Photo by Joy Crist.

After leasing retail space in Buxton for about two decades, the store discovered in 2023 that it needed to find a new location by the end of January 2024.

Unfortunately, options were limited at the time and the Hotline Thrift Store had to temporarily close while we looked for a new home.

Popular with locals and visitors alike, Hotline has always been a go-to place for people in need of essentials and for anyone who enjoys shopping without breaking the bank.

However, the charity thrift store is much more than a cheap and convenient one-stop shopping shop. On a much larger scale, it serves as a focal point for the nonprofit Outer Banks Hotline organization to contact the population of southern Hatteras Island.

For this reason, people often turn to this agency first when they need urgent help, especially in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.

Hotline raises money through store purchases and donations and partners with Dare County Social Services and other agencies to help southern Hatteras Island residents when they need it most.

The new interior of the Hotline Thrift Store in Frisco. Photo by Outer Banks Hotline.

“This store is our gateway to help with domestic violence and sexual abuse cases on the southern Outer Banks,” Thornton said in a previous interview. “It’s a store, but it’s also our window to reach out to this community.”

In April 2024, after months of searching, Hotline announced that they had purchased a new home at 53321 NC Highway 12 in Frisco, the former Surfside Casuals retail building.

The sale officially took place in mid-April and since then, stakeholders and volunteers have worked tirelessly to transform the empty space into a new and revitalized thrift store.

“The building was so open that we ended up having to put up some walls, add an area for handicapped parking, put up a fence in the back for the donation area, gravel the driveway and extend or add ramps to make it handicapped accessible – there was a lot to do,” Thornton said.

The interior of the store was also a project that required new displays, counters and cleared areas for donations and store items.

“When we renovate our (existing) stores, we know how much space there is and what we need to do,” Thornton said. “But here, we had no idea what the inside would look like until we put the walls up and started moving things around. So we did everything from scratch.”

Thornton confirms that longtime manager Donna Covey is the reason the empty building was transformed into a brand new store in just 10 weeks.

“Donna did everything – she had the design and the map in mind from the beginning and did a great job,” Thornton said.

And there’s a long list of other people we’d like to thank. “The people who came out to help, the contractors who gave us great prices and great deals, Daniel Covey – Donna’s son – who was instrumental in getting the build completed… there was just so much help and support.”

“I think it’s a good representation of Hotline’s connection to our community and to our southern beaches.”

However, there is still a gap for the long-term future of the Hotline Thrift Store: the search for assistants to run and manage the store in the coming weeks, months and years.

“We still desperately need volunteers,” Thornton said. “Cashiers and stocking the sales floor are the two things we need most right now.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can call the Outer Banks Hotline at 252-423-4674 or email [email protected].

In the meantime, everyone is invited to join the celebration on June 26 to see how this tremendous community-wide effort has paid off.

Starting June 26, the Hotline Thrift Store in Frisco will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., giving people even more opportunities to shop cheaply while supporting an important local organization.

“Everyone is going to be so excited,” Thornton said, “and we can’t wait for our community to see the new store in person.”