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Revitalizing Abandoned Office Furniture: NE Minneapolis Warehouse’s Mission

As businesses throughout the metropolitan area have transitioned to hybrid and remote operations, a warehouse in Northeast Minneapolis now stands as a deserted repository for office furniture, with a goal of repurposing these desks and chairs.

For over three decades, Furnish Office and Home has remained steadfast in its mission to minimize landfill waste. “Anything we can divert from the landfill is a positive step,” emphasized Alex Lundeen, the store’s manager.

Situated at 850 NE 15th Ave., the warehouse predominantly houses donated items, including notable pieces like lockers sourced from Target.

Offered for sale at significantly discounted rates compared to their original retail prices, the inventory encompasses a variety of items. Lundeen highlighted, “These chairs, which were initially priced at \(200 to \)300 each, are now available for $50.”

The most popular section of the store is located in the rear corner, where every chair is priced at just $10. Despite some showing signs of wear, Lundeen noted, “While some may appear a bit worn, everyone needs a chair.”

For DJ Tenney, his inaugural visit to the store proved fruitful as he upgraded his home office with a new chair and desk. Expressing his satisfaction, Tenney remarked, “The chair is definitely more stylish, with added lumbar support and cushioning for comfort. I estimate I’m saving a couple of hundred dollars.”

In addition to individual customers seeking office upgrades, Furnish caters to a significant number of immigrants and small business proprietors. Lundeen elaborated, “Many new businesses, such as tax offices, adult daycares, and chiropractic clinics, often seek guest seating.”

Beyond its environmental impact, Furnish plays a pivotal role in supporting individuals like Aaron Mason in their reintegration post-incarceration. Mason, who has been employed at Furnish for seven years, attested to the invaluable assistance he received in rebuilding his life, including financial guidance.

Proceeds generated by Furnish contribute to a reentry initiative benefiting individuals transitioning out of prison, facilitated by a Minneapolis-based nonprofit.

Describing the close-knit dynamic at Furnish, Mason emphasized the familial atmosphere that extends to both employees and customers, fostering a supportive environment tailored to individual needs and circumstances.