NORTH CANTON  North Canton seems to be building a reputation for record breaking grand openings of new or relocated businesses. The most recent example was the North Canton Goodwill store on the corner of North Main and Applegrove that set a record for its grand opening on April 26.

President and CEO of Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio Anne Richards said they are excited about opening. She said they looked for a new location for more than a decade for the new North Canton store.

"Everyone in North Canton has been so supportive of the store, this was the biggest turn out we’ve ever seen for a grand opening," Richards said. "We just want to thank everyone who shops and donates with Goodwill for such a great welcome."

Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio built the new store at 1230 North Main. The old store on South Main St. has been closed. Maureen Ater, vice president of marketing and fund development, said the new store’s sales floor is three times the size of the old store.

Opening day started with a ribbon cutting that included North Canton Mayor David Held, Chamber President Doug Lane, representatives from Congressman James Renacci’s office, Sen. Scott Oelslager, representatives from Goodwill’s Board of Directors and many others.

"There were 200-300 people wrapped around the building before the ribbon cutting a 9 a.m. this morning," Ater said. "In addition to the many representatives we had here this morning, we also asked North Canton Girl Scout Ava Skolnik to help cut the ribbon. It was part of the Scout’s Good Turn Day program where they collect donations for Goodwill. We also presented the store with a plaque because it has opened during Goodwill’s 100th year anniversary."

The new store has bright lighting, wide aisle ways, stocked shelfs and clothing racks and mission reminder messages are displayed throughout. There is a bigger area for donations with a covered drive-thru for those who want to drop off items. While the traffic in the parking lot on opening day was a bit of a challenge, there are entrances and exits from the parking lot on to both Main Street and Applegrove.

"The messages painted inside the store reinforce that shoppers are helping support Goodwill’s mission when they buy items. Our stores support our parenting and employment programs and the rape crisis services that are delivered right here in our communities," Ater said. "Last year alone, Goodwill programs helped 11,000 people in the communities that we service."

The store has also expanded its staffing by adding six new full-time employees. Ater said a project that big takes a village to complete.

"It takes everyone starting with the construction crews, retail staff to city and state officials," she said. "We’ve seen people help in any way they can to make this grand opening a success. This store draws people from all over the county and beyond so we cater to the same consumers as other stores do and we need to have nice looking, contemporary stores like the North Canton store."

Visit the website at http://www.goodwillgoodskills.org/ to learn more about Goodwill Industries and the organization’s mission.