An 18-karat monkey brooch with sapphire eyes and a diamond belly button is Alvarez’s personal favorite item, she said. The item is expected to be priced in the thousands, but a final cost hasn’t been set.
One gemstone inlay table made in Italy was originally purchased at $7,000 but is being sold for $2,500, Alvarez said. Hermès and Armani ties are available for $25. Other designer tags that can be found include St. John, Lilly Pulitzer, Gucci, Valentino and Chanel. There are also items priced as low as $5, Alvarez said.
“You always find a treasure at the Church Mouse,” manager Coy Riestra said.
When the volunteer-run store first set up on the South County Road near Town Hall, it was just one of the stores in the building. Over the years, profits have grown and the store has expanded into the rest of the building, with their merchandise now covering 4,500 square feet.
Last year, the store donated $450,000 to outreach projects throughout the community, and this year, the Church Mouse team plans to donate the same amount, said Fred Staley, an associate for administration.
Proceeds go toward educational programs, shelters and food pantries throughout Palm Beach County, Staley said.
“The proceeds from the Church Mouse provide the primary source of funds used by the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea to serve people in need around the corner and around the world,” said the Rev. James Harlan, rector of the church.