Central City thrift store, Ermel's Emporium, kept alive through work of volunteers

Thrift shop in the heart of Central City

Central City - Central City is known for its beauty, its opera house and gambling. But there is also a store getting a lot of attention.

Two 7Everyday Heroes are credited with the store's success: Diane Rittenhouse and Willy Lickey.

"We'll have a line waiting at the door sometimes," said Lickey.

The thrift store is in the heart of Central City, in one of the oldest buildings in the state. It is called Ermel's Emporium.

"We have regular customers from Fort Collins, Denver, Evergreen. We even have a lady who comes from Colorado Springs," said volunteer Linda Jones.

Lickey and Rittenhouse have helped transform the thrift shop into a retail store that attracts a wide range of customers.

"Once they (Lickey & Rittenhouse) came the exhibits looked so good.  They really have an eye for exhibiting things and making things look attractive and unified," said Jones.

Lickey and Rittenhouse's hard work pays off for the whole community.

The thrift store is an outreach of Central City's Saint James United Methodist Church. The profits go to people in need in Gilpin County.

"It has grown to the point where it grosses $39,000 a year," said Pastor Richard Vickery.

Ermel's Emporium is a community effort.

The church oversees the store, the Masons provide the space and volunteer's like Lickey and Rittenhouse turn donations into hope for others.

"It is like a treasure hunt because you never know what you're going to find," said Rittenhouse.

"It is like opening a Christmas present. You open these bags and you never know what's in 'em," said Lickey.

Next time you are in Central City look for Ermel's Emporium. It is located at 111 Eureka in the heart of town. 

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