by Amber Roerick
The shelves are filled with Christian gifts, sports cards and collectibles; the music is playing softly overhead; and people are shopping all over the store. However, this isn’t just a regular old convenience store. This is Jim Rinne’s hobby shop, Christian Corner Gift in St. Cloud.
Rinne is a Sartell resident.
“There is something about dollar stores that attracts people to shop,” said Rinne, referring to his theory of why he opened the dollar section in his Christian book store, “My wife and I had previously owned a sports-cards and collectibles store in the Crossroads Mall about six years ago. After business went bad with it, we found a Christian book store had gone out of business in Midtown Square Mall on Division Street. So, we wanted to see if God was with us and open up a Christian book store, and we have been in business for almost seven years now.”
Rinne and his wife opened the store with the intention that not only would they sell Christian gifts, but they would also sell sports cards and Nascar collectibles.
“I got the idea to open the sports-cards store in Crossroads because I used to sell my sports cards on eBay,” Rinne said.
After nearly seven years of business, Rinne decided to open a dollar section as part of his store two months ago.
“Everyone always makes some comment about how the store is packed with good things everywhere, and so I thought about it and noticed something about every dollar store that I have been in – they are always packed with people,” Rinne said.
So, with a vision in mind, Rinne decided to open a new dollar section in Christian Corner Gift.
“We have about 5,000 square feet in the store itself, and I am hoping to make at least one third of it a dollar section,” Rinne said. “I think the main reason why I decided to open the dollar section was because of the economy. People want to buy cheaper things, and so I decided to open a dollar section where everything costs one, two or three dollars.”
Besides owning Christian Corner Gift, Rinne is a father of three sons – Adam, Cody and Isaiah. His wife stays at home to take care of the youngest, Isaiah, who always brings something back from the store every time he visits, Rinne said.
“I think what I want people to know most about Christian Corner Gift is we are a fun shop where you can find different things like no other shop, and – also – if you want to find us, you just have to listen for the music I play overhead to draw people into the store,” Rinne said.
So, the next time you are in Midtown Square Mall and you want to get an inexpensive gift for someone, just listen carefully for the music and enjoy the simple gifts that surround you in Christian Corner Gift.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.