When most people hear the term “retail therapy” they think of giant malls or a retail outlet.
I think of Goodwill.
After a recent long, hard week, I needed to get out and have a fun day of shopping with my girlfriends. I thought I’d share my itinerary in case you’d like to have your own Saturday morning out, finishing the tour with not one, but two Goodwill stores, and highlighting a few other gems on my local list.
This little shopping excursion is perfect for spring, so mark your calendar now! What you need to bring: a map or directions, some shopping bags and if it’s hot out, a cooler.
STOP 1: Dilworth Coffee
110 Matthews Station St. at N. Trade, Matthews
Find a spot to park your car in historic, downtown Matthews and walk to Dilworth Coffee for some caffeine to get your morning started. They always have so many delicious house specialities on their menu. But don’t sit and chat for too long. Take your cup to go and walk down the street to grab a homemade breakfast pastry from the next stop.
STOP 2: Matthews Farmers Market
188 N. Trade St., Matthews
You can find a farmers’ market in any season, and the Matthews Farmers Market is one of my favorites. Everything is home-grown or produced within a 50-mile radius, so this is the best of your local and regional offerings. Stock up on grass-fed beef, local pork and chicken, handmade soaps and chocolates, artisan cheeses, and of course, produce. There are several wonderful bakers represented here, too, so get yourself a muffin or other pastry for a bite on the go. If it’s hot out, don’t forget to store your cold things in a cooler until you get home.
STOP 3: Renfrow Hardware
188 N. Trade Street, Matthews
Before you head back to your car, poke your head in this hundred-year-old-plus hardware store. If you have a green thumb, you can find supplies here for the spring, but even if you don’t, take a moment to walk around this charming, historical stop, once a place for local farmers to get their cotton ginned. If it’s cold out, warm your hands by the wood stove, which also doubles a way of roasting peanuts.
STOP 4: Goodwill-Weddington Road
2515 Plantation Center Drive, Matthews
Now we arrive at the grand finale of our Saturday morning adventure: thrifting! There is nothing better than Goodwill on a Saturday morning. There’s something about going on the weekend that makes it feel like one giant, extremely organized yard sale. And who doesn’t love a good yard sale? This Goodwill location just recently had their grand re-opening, so this store is in tip-top shape! When we were there, they had a very large selection of baby and children’s clothing–all of which looked practically brand new, so parents, load up for the spring and summer. I found some lovely vintage dishes to take home, and my friends snagged some cute clothes to start off the season.
STOP 5: Goodwill-Sardis Road
1909 Sardis Road North, Charlotte
Remember that most Goodwill stores are like snowflakes, so to find the most treasures, try to hit a diversity of stores. This location is a stop back on your way into the city, on the last leg of our Saturday morning trip. As you finish thrifting, don’t forget to look for things on your regular home shopping list. Do you need canisters for baking supplies, some flower pots for your porch, a welcome mat for the front door? Try to find it here, at a great price.
STOP 6: Gus Sir Beef
4101 Monroe Road, Charlotte
Surely, after all this shopping, you’ll have worked up an appetite. Here’s a suggestion for one of my favorites that you’ll pass by right on the way back into town. A meat-and-three is the perfect end to a day that starts at the farmers’ market. And if you go in the summer, you’ve got to get the fried squash, which is what they’re known for.
-Amanda Aileen Fisher