|All the Hob's proceeds go to the Vancouver Hospice Society.|
|My latest Hob treasures on display in the backyard sunshine.|
For years, the Hob (which stands for Hospice Opportunity Boutique) supplied my coats -- including a $400 Burberry duffle that I got for $40. Once I asked whether there were any vests in the back of the store, as my elderly mother liked to wear them. Out came a stack of beautiful vests that I bought on the spot: My mother wore them almost every day until she died.
But the Hob has always had a different feel, perhaps because it is entirely volunteer-operated, perhaps because all its proceeds go to the Vancouver Hospice Society. Or maybe because it is fuelled by the heart of the community: Its contents are all donated by people willing to give their high-quality goods away instead of reselling or returning them.
The Hob eventually moved up Dunbar to 27th, then to its current location on 41st in Kerrisdale, shifting gradually to a more upscale operation. Gone is the jumble of casual wear, the lower-quality items, the sense of being able to dig through dross to find treasures. The racks are colour-coordinated and the prices have risen to better reflect the quality of the products. But there are still bargains, still welcoming volunteers and still the knowledge that every penny you pay goes to a good cause.
On Wednesday, I dropped in to look for summer shirts; the Hob did not disappoint.