A Napa-based nonprofit that helps adults with disabilities is hoping to earn more cash by opening a retail gift shop to the public.
The Barn — which specializes in garden and pet products, as well as wine-related gifts — has opened on-site at Napa Valley Products, Services & Industries, located at 651 Trabajo Lane.
The Barn gets its name from its location — an old dairy building on the grounds of Napa State Hospital. The building was given a “facelift” and a little “TLC” prior to opening the store, said Carin Lawrence, interim project development director.
The store officially opened in July and typically sees only a couple customers per day.
“It’s not as many customers as we’d like,” Lawrence said.
Currently, people who visit The Barn ring a bell outside the door for service. This helps keep the costs low, Lawrence said. One of the ultimate goals, she said, is to use The Barn as a retail training ground for Napa Valley PSI clients. But first, the store will need to attract more customers.
Napa Valley PSI clients, who receive a paycheck for their work, are trained in woodworking. Some of the more popular products include dog houses and decorative garden items, Lawrence said. The items for sale typically range in price from $5 to $100.
To save money, Napa Valley PSI shut down its daytime enrichment program last week. The day program, which had existed for three years, provided art projects and social activities for clients.
Earlier this year, Lawrence told the Napa Valley Register that the day program couldn’t “make ends meet.”
“The expenses are greater than the revenue,” she said. “It’s pretty much been losing money since it started.”
Napa Valley PSI has been in existence since the 1970s. In the past, clients used their woodworking skills to make caskets, as well as furniture for the federal government. What they make, Lawrence said, has always depended on what’s in demand.
The nonprofit serves approximately 70 clients daily and receives the majority of its financial support from the state. Three-quarters of Napa Valley PSI’s annual budget of $1 million comes from the North Bay Regional Center and the Department of Rehabilitation, Lawrence said.
The nonprofit also receives some support from Napa Valley College and through contracts with local businesses.
By shutting down the day program, the nonprofit will concentrate all of its funds on its core mission: to provide vocational training and job placement services for disabled adults.
All proceeds from The Barn will support this mission, Lawrence said.