Alfonso worked for the Los Angeles St. Vincent de Paul store ever since it moved from Chinatown to Lincoln Heights in 1969, and since he immigrated to the US from Mexico. He remembers when the store was housed in the yellow, former factory building next door at 200 North San Fernando Road, now upscale condos.
“The first floor was the store,” said Alfonso. “In the furniture section there were no tags on anything. You would just say, ‘How much is this?’ And they’d say, ‘Well, how about this much?’” In the late 1970s the thrift store moved across Avenue 21, to the former factory’s warehouse and shipping area. If you look closely at the front of the current thrift store, you can see it was once a loading dock.
Many store employees such as Alfonso live in Lincoln Heights and have strong generational ties to the neighborhood, as do many of the store’s customers, who will miss him. Thank you Alfonso for your many years of service at St. Vincent de Paul of LA. Vaya con Dios.