610 E. North, Carol Stream
If you’re an avid thrifter you might find a few things not to like about Jubilee Furniture: There are no color-coded racks of clothing. There’s not much in the way of housewares. This is not the kind of thrift store where you’ll stumble across an eight-track copy of Scott Baio’s self-titled debut album or other pieces of ironic nostalgia. But what you will find is a jam-packed used-furniture warehouse that rivals Ikea in its massiveness and affordability.
The store is at the far end of a desolate-looking hulk of a mini-mall in Carol Stream. If you don’t see the vinyl Jubilee banner at the entrance to the parking lot you might miss the store altogether, as the only sign above the entrance is for the Wheaton Christian Center Church. The magic door to this wonderland of household furnishings is directly underneath the “Ch” in Christian.
It’s only open two days a week (Friday from 11 AM to 8 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM), but it contains everything you’d ever need to decorate your apartment, house, or eight-story office building, all priced to move: a Room & Board sofa for $225, a barrister’s bookcase for $35, a retro leather recliner and ottoman for $95. All proceeds benefit Outreach Community Ministries, a faith-based community organization serving Wheaton and DuPage County.
The employees—many of them volunteers—not only love furniture but are deeply committed to the idea of helping others, whether through charitable works or just in helping you find the right dining set for your condo. General manager Susan Galbraith updates a blog (jubileefurniture. blogspot.com) every Friday with photos of new inventory. Not only do her entries provide a preview of what you’ll find at Jubilee that weekend, they offer a glimpse into the life cycle of our discarded items—sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes unexpected or hilarious. She muses about parents who lost a son and donated his bedroom furniture to Jubilee, then marvels at the expansive list of places Jubilee furniture has ended up: Sixth District congressman Peter Roskam’s office in Washington, D.C.; onstage at the Goodman; or shipped by container-load to Romania. In that kind of grateful atmosphere, who needs Scott Baio?