Olive Branch, which combines a store offering fair trade items with a gathering place for community activities, held its grand opening on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 11160 Perry Highway (across from Dunkin' Donuts). The store will feature one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry, and other items made by impoverished artisans from around the world.
Salem United Methodist Church on Manor Road in Pine has been operating Olive Branch at the church for more than 40 years. "By relocating the Olive Branch to a retail location among other businesses, we will be better able to expand its appeal to the entire community, and especially to people who are looking for unique gifts, but have few options in the area," said Mary Sheehan, a founder of the Olive Branch. "We will be carrying handcrafted items from Ten Thousand Villages, SERRV, and other fair trade organizations."
"Since the store will be in a highly visible place, we also see it as a gathering place to bring together other churches, community groups, non-profit organizations, and individuals to share thoughts and hold meetings that benefit our community," adds the Rev. Beth Nelson, pastor of Salem United Methodist Church. "Our overall vision is for The Olive Branch to be a place to make connections with people who want to make a difference. For instance, there might be an evening devoted to making blankets for the homeless or a community program on literacy. It will also serve as a collection point for various items, including food products needed by North Hills Community Outreach Food Bank. We think the possibilities for community projects and activities are limitless, and we look forward to hearing ideas from the community."
Olive Branch in The North Journal and The Tribune Review