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Hudson's Thrift Store opens

The former location of the True Value Hardware is brimming with items that will be for sale when the store opens Friday. Photo by Margaret Ontl1 / 2
Huu Van Nguyen, owner of Hudson Nails, is opening a thrift store in Plaza 94. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl2 / 2

Huu Van Nguyen gave up years ago having people call him by his first name Huu.

"I would say my name is Huu (who)," said Van, "Van is easier for people to understand." The energetic entrepreneur came to America in 1982 from Viet Nam and hasn't stopped working since. His first stop was Colorado where he went to college. After his first three months of employment there, he earned the trust of his employer, was given a key and supervised a night shift of 11 people. His crew out-produced the day crew of 33 people. Van was on his way. Realizing his talent he went to work for himself, establishing an assortment of businesses including a landscaping firm, a small engine repair shop and a grocery. He later sold them and moved to Minnesota starting the process over again.

"I work 14 hours a day, seven days a week," said Van, who admits his family is not as enthusiastic about it. "I love working."

Today, Van, an Oakdale, Minn., resident, owns a pool hall, a landscape business, a full service car wash/ detailing business, an auto repair business, nail salons and two thrift stores in Minnesota.

Ten years ago, Van opened Hudson Nails, and Friday he will open The Thrift Shop located in Plaza 94.

"It is my way of thanking the community for the support they have given me," said Van. "I think about the public and the people who don't have jobs. I feel bad about it. That is why I decided to open this business."

He also remembers the help he received while in Hong Kong, when he was trying to immigrate to the United States.

"A lot of people helped me so I am going to do the same thing for others," said Van, who is giving a helping hand two ways by opening his Thrift Stores and by employing over 70 people in his businesses.

"I am the owner but I do the work too and never think I am their boss," said Van, who commented he owns ten businesses and this is the first time he has had an office. "I just always work with the people."

The store, located in the former location of the True Value Store is bursting at the seams with clothing, home furnishing, small appliances, electronics, toys, books, shoes, purses and more. Van searches far and wide to purchase items for the store and will start taking donations in the future.

A father of seven children, three of them in college, Van is literally always working.

"I would get bored if I wasn't doing this," said Van. "I really want to thank my customers at Hudson Nails for their support. It is because of them I am able to help other people."

The Hudson Thrift store opens Friday. The hours will be Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.