St. John’s Helpful Shop seeks new location after 65 years


CAPITOLA — St. John’s Helpful Shop in Capitola Village is preparing to move out and find a new home after 65 years.

A literal cornerstone of the village, St. John’s Helpful Shop first opened at its location on the corner of Monterey and Capitola avenues in 1953. Women from the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, then located in the Depot Hill area of Capitola, opened the store to raise money for a new church carpet.

Gradually, the church grew, and the shop became a way for St. John’s to expand its community outreach. Church and community members alike volunteer their time at the shop, with all proceeds given as grants to local nonprofits.

The building that houses the Helpful Shop recently changed hands, said shop volunteer Daniel Oliver. This has prompted them to move out and possibly find a new location.

“We’re currently making a decision of where and when we can reopen,” Oliver said. “We’d like to get the word out and ask help from the community.”

In 2018, St. John’s Helpful Shop helped support 26 different organizations across the region — including Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, Homeless Services Center, Native Animal Rescue, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County and more.

“That’s really the whole point,” Oliver said. “The outreach. We’d really like to keep that going.”

Aug. 25 was the Helpful Shop’s final day open at its Capitola Village location. The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist is now located at 125 Canterbury Drive in Aptos, and Helpful Shop volunteers say they hope to find a location not too far from the church itself — but are open to other ideas.

To contact St. John’s Helpful Shop, visit st-john-aptos.org.


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