NORWICH – The way Kevin Rivenburgh sees it, thrift stores are the wave of the future. Two winters ago, while visiting his son Justin in San Diego, Calif., Rivenburgh visited a thrift store looking for appropriate clothing for when he played golf. From that first shopping experience, he was hooked.
“It was just amazing the stuff that is so good for so little a price,” Rivenburgh said of that first experience. “California is just ridiculous with how many thrift stores are there. There seems to be a thrift store for every non-profit. If there’s a cause, there’s a store for it.”
That initial shopping trip planted a seed that is now growing in Norwich. Rivenburgh recently opened his own thrift store called the California Connection, located on Mechanic Street in Norwich across from the Norwich YMCA. Rivenburgh launched the business just a few weeks ago, but said he has already moved hundreds of items.
Most of Rivenburgh’s inventory is geared toward men and young men, but in the half hour this reporter was interviewing the local proprietor, a young boy, Tyler, and his mother came into the shop. A few minutes later, Rivenburgh sold young Tyler his first two golf clubs, a junior golf bag, and some free golf balls to boot.