WITH the worn books, clothes and boots that line the aisles, it is not immediately obvious what sets Empower Community Services apart from other op shops.
The Blacktown space is home to a coffee area, which encourages conversation and where workshops such as jewellery making run for free, except for the cost of materials.
A food bank offers groceries at a reduced price as well as some free food.
Manager John Crawford ran the op shop Threads of Hope in Lalor Park before he was approached to set up the Blacktown shop.
It was officially opened on Thursday and has operated since June.
The minister of religion says the aim of combining food bank with the op shop is sustainability.
"I've run a street ministry in Blacktown for 20 years," Mr Crawford said. "So my heart is for Blacktown and we're just seeing what we can do to help the community."
The food bank offers groceries to those in financial hardship at discounted rates on Thursdays and Fridays.
Groceries which retail for more than $100 may cost only $30 from the site.
Food that retailers donate including fruit, vegetables, bread and cakes, is distributed for free.
The op shop is at 23-27 Second Avenue, Blacktown. Details: 9676 2817, firstname.lastname@example.org.