A local store that sells items which have seen their fair share of years pass is now celebrating a birthday of its own. Main Street Antiques will turn 20 on Aug. 1, and for the past two decades the downtown location has provided the Turlock community with a wide variety of unique antiques.
The store was opened in 1996 by Richard Soderquist and Lori Smith, who has always had a passion for antique items.
“I just like old stuff,” said Smith. “As a kid, I remember we went to some abandoned property and I found an old shoe, took it home and cleaned it up. I still have it.”
Following the passing of Soderquist this year, Smith now owns Main Street Antiques with her business partner Jennifer Jensen. Jensen’s love for antiques grew from a desire for things she would see at sales that she still wanted to buy and fix up, but was unable to find a spot for them in her home.
“This shop here has given me an outlet to do that,” said Jensen.
Main Street Antiques sells items from 26 individual vendors who each rent a space within the store. The large quantity of sellers ensures that shoppers always have plenty to choose from while antique hunting, and most of the dealers who rent from Smith and Jensen have sold in the shop since the beginning.
“Each of the dealers has their own specialty,” said Smith.
Dealers in the shop sell antiques ranging from their own personal items that they have collected over the years to mid-century items. The shop also has a dealer that specializes in rare coins, who has been with the business for six years, and a couple that deals mostly glassware.
“There are so many people selling from all different areas,” said Jensen. “Each kind of have their own different flair.”
Not only do the antique store’s dealers come from different places, but the shoppers do as well. Patrons travel from all over the valley to shop at Main Street Antiques, said Smith, coming from Lodi, Manteca, Merced and Los Banos to shop for antiques. Clientele have even traveled from the bay to buy from the store, and a couple from France recently visited the business and purchased a vintage 1920s map of California.
“We have enough in here to make them stop, and it’s worth their while,” said Smith.
Having been downtown for nearly 20 years, the store has seen its fair share of change, mostly in what people tend to buy. According to Smith and Jensen, items like Victorian-era furniture and collectible jadeite that used to sell well no longer do. Now, a younger crowd frequents the store, purchasing items that are often nostalgic or that they can use in their own home.
“It’s about memories,” said Smith. “They’ll see things that they had as a child or that their grandma had and buy them.”
“They come in and are looking for things that are different,” added Jensen. “They want unique, reasonable furniture that no one else has.”
To celebrate 20 years of business, Main Street Antiques will hold a three-day sale on Aug. 5, 6 and 7 where the entire store will be 20 percent off. The shop also recently joined the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and will be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 1.
“We feel like 20 years is kind of a big deal,” said Jensen. “I would say the best part is that our customers are always happy. There’s never been a day where I don’t want to come to work.”