Shelby’s Bridge offers home décor, fresh food and opportunities for friends

BY GAIL M. WILLIAMS
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

Those who came to Shelby’s Bridge for the Grand Opening on Saturday did more than make purchases. They offered hugs and encouragement to proprietors and friends.
Shelby’s Bridge in Sudan is a nonprofit gift and thrift shop, the brainchild of Shelby Leopold. Leopold, who taught special education for 10 years, saw a need for adults with disabilities who had left high school to keep up their skills by helping to run a retail store.
“It gives them opportunities for independence once they’ve exited from high school,” Leopold said. “We saw a need in our West Texas area for adults to be able to plug in, to gain skills for work and social life.”
For example, the workers, who are called “friends,” offer sample food products to customers, learning to ask politely and to take “no” for an answer.
The store offers San Saba Pecan food, ladies’ accessories, jewelry, Makeup Junkie bags, blankets, pillows, home décor and kitchen items.
“Things you can use in all different areas of your house,” Leopold said.
An Army wife, Leopold points out that some of the items are handmade by Army spouses.
“I’m so proud that so many of my friends have such amazing talents,” Leopold said. “It’s fun to bring to bring that to Sudan. No one else in the area has that.”
Located inside Shelby’s Bridge, The Sunshine Café serves wraps daily, and a rotating menu that includes a salad bar or a baked potato bar throughout the week. Fresh grab-and-go lunches are also available. Blue Bell ice cream as a dip or a milkshake, coffee and cookies are for sale throughout the day.
Leopold says Shelby’s Bridge is Phase 1. Plans for the future include a tiny home community in Beulah.
“Parents recognize that adults with disabilities are outliving their caregivers and wonder what their children will do after their parents are gone,” Leopold said. “Shelby’s Bridge is a place where they can make the connections that they need.”
Shelby’s Bridge accepts donations such as home goods, home décor, and gently used kitchen appliances. They had a successful Donation Saturday and expect to post more such events in the future.
Shelby’s Bridge is located at 110 N. Main, Sudan. They are open from 10-6 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 10-2 on Saturday. Lunch is served from 11-2 on days that they’re open.
Contact Shelby’s Bridge at 806-227-CAFÉ or 806-227-2233. Their web address is www.shelbysbridge.org. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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