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Colorado couple opens thrift store in Mitchell to benefit area nonprofits

Jean Cannon, owner of Sunrise Thrift in Mitchell, places a shirt back on the rack in her store on North Main Street as Mitchell resident Ramona Munneke looks on. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)1 / 2
Mitchell resident Ramona Munneke, left, inspects a piece of clothing being held by Sunrise Thrift owner Jean Cannon, right. Cannon opened the thrift store in Mitchell in November, and a majority of store's profits go to area nonprofits. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)2 / 2

Instead of pocketing profits from their recently opened Main Street business, Jean and Dave Cannon have been giving back to a community they barely know.

Six weeks ago, the Cannons opened up Sunrise Thrift on North Main Street after moving to Mitchell in October from Loveland, Colorado.

Tired of traffic and lack of community, the couple decided to move to South Dakota and open a thrift store.

But the couple isn't looking to make money off their new gig. Instead, a large portion of the money accrued from the business is being given to area nonprofits, including the Mitchell Food Pantry, the Helping Hands Pantry in Mitchell and the National Dementia Association.

"I'm not looking to get rich, I'm just looking to make sure other people have resources available for them through the Food Pantry, through Helping Hands or through the National Dementia Association," Jean said.

Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, the thrift store runs on donated items such as clothing or household items. And despite being open since Nov. 15, the store is already crowded, especially on a Tuesday — which is the store's busiest day, Jean said.

But that's OK with the couple as it's what they had hoped for when moving to Mitchell.

"It's a nice size community, and it's a big draw with the Corn Palace," Jean said. "There's no other city with a Corn Palace. So we moved here and we opened a thrift store."

Already a part of Mitchell

When Ramona Munneke heard of a new thrift store, she couldn't wait to check it out.

Little did she know she was about to make two new friends in Jean and Dave Cannon.

But she did, and now her daily routine often includes a stop at Sunrise Thrift, where she is a shopper and often helps out the Cannons whenever she's needed.

"I saw a thrift store and thought, 'Oh, goodie. We've got another thrift store.' It's on my agenda for every day that I leave the house," Munneke said.

Munneke, formerly of Platte, said it's incredible that a couple from Colorado would move to Mitchell and give back to a community they hardly know.

"That's what I find outstanding," Munneke said.

For eight years in Loveland, Colorado, the Cannons operated a family owned assisted living home for people with end-stage dementia. After long hours and few vacation days, they decided to retire to South Dakota. And Mitchell seemed the perfect destination.

In their two months of living in Mitchell, the Cannons said they already feel like a part of the community. And it's a community they plan to stick around in for a long time.

"We lived 16 years in our home in Colorado, and I didn't know my neighbors. Here, everyone is over-the-top friendly. It's more of a community here than where we're from," she said. "That feels really good."