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Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane: 

Owners of The Merchant General Store open an antique shop right next door

by Michelle Weyenberg of the Jackson County Chronicle

Darren and Trish Durman want their customers to take a Stroll Down Memory Lane.

It's a fitting name to call their new antiques shop at 224 Main St. which opened Saturday, March 31.

The Durman's, owners of The Merchant General Store, and their employees will now mix up their time between the two stores which are next door to each other. Darren said they thought it would be nice to see another quality antique store in the downtown area after Main Street Antiques closed. And, with people stopping into the Merchant asking about how to market antiques, they knew expanding the store was something they wanted to do in the future to meet with customer needs. But in the meantime, they selectively sold consignment items.

Most of the dealers for Stroll Down Memory Lane are local people, some within a 50-mile radius, Darren said. They sell antique collectable items on a six-month consignment basis.

"Our goal is to try and rotate merchandise," he said.

A few dealers are still moving in items, and Darren said space is still available to rent.

Dealers can also voluntarily work at the store, which is common in most antique malls. Madeline Kostohryz, a dealer at the new store, volunteered to man her booth. She spent time pricing her antique items in her rented booth space and talking with customers.

"I really enjoy being able to talk with people," Kostohryz said.

They started refurbishing the old Pet Paradise building at the end of November 2006.

The building was built in 1912 and was the home of Homestead Grocery until the late 1930s. It then turned into A&P Grocery. In 1970 the building was divided into two sections - one-half the Banner Journal, and the other a hairdressing salon until the 1990s when it housed the Pet Paradise store.

Darren said they hope to have a grand opening celebration in mid-April.

So far the comments have been positive.

"People said it was nice to come down the hill and see all the shops, and go in them one by one," Darren said. "When people are coming in the area, they want to see something."

Stroll Down Memory Lane is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

To inquire about renting dealer-space or for questions call (715) 284-5650.

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