August 1, 2018
Dear Valued Supporters,
I am pleased to announce that Wednesday, August 1, the Junior League of New Orleans completed the sale of our properties at 4645 and 4617 Freret Street to SSJ Investments, LLC. Once all outstanding obligations have been paid, the sale’s proceeds will nearly double the value of JLNO’s endowment, securing the organization’s future and allowing us to expand our mission and community impact in new and dynamic ways.
JLNO is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Our purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. JLNO has served the New Orleans area through numerous community projects since 1924.
Among those projects is one of our longest standing, the Bloomin’ Deals Thrift Store. Founded in 1927, Bloomin’ Deals served as a thrift store and low-cost coffee/lunch shop for working class residents of the French Quarter. Just as that neighborhood underwent a significant transformation over the years, the Freret corridor has changed dramatically in the last decade. JLNO has been proud to serve as an anchor of the Freret neighborhood during its renaissance and is optimistic that the new owner of these properties will again meet a critical community need in this location.
As you know, the decision to list the Freret Street properties was not one taken lightly, and I wish to thank the countless members who supported this process by participating in forums, providing feedback, collecting data, convening business and evaluation committees, and volunteering.
That work is not complete. We remain committed to continuing the legacy of Bloomin’ Deals as a signature JLNO program. We intend to move forward in a deliberate, transparent fashion that prioritizes JLNO’s mission and the impact our projects and members are able to make in the community. Over the next nine months, we will be examining the best ways to continue Bloomin’ Deals in a meaningful, mission-focused and impact-driven way. This will include holding several pop-up events for the public and our partners in various locations around the city.
Rummage collection is ongoing for members, with donations of high quality (ie. clean, gently used) clothing and accessories at JLNO Headquarters during regular business hours. Internally, the Business Evaluation team will be observing, collecting data, researching and ultimately presenting options for a future Bloomin’ Deals endeavor to be implemented mid-2019. Saturday’s Bag Day will be the final merchandise liquidation, and the store will only remain open the following week as needed for equipment and fixture liquidation.
Throughout this process, we have actively sought member and community input. JLNO leadership has consulted with numerous state and city officials, business and nonprofit partners, and wish to continue those dialogues. We continue to welcome and encourage your questions, ideas and other feedback, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of JLNO, thank you again to our staff, members, the neighborhood, fellow Freret Street businesses, and, of course the many customers and donors for their generous and unwavering support throughout the years.
Alice Franz Glenn, 2018-2019 President