Twenty years ago Antiques on Main found its home in downtown Anoka.
The shop, now owned by Nancy and Jeff Caine, has built a strong business over the past two decades, attracting antique buyers from Anoka and all over the Twin Cities.
The store has always been a family business, originally started by Molly Caine (Jeff’s mother) and her two daughters-in-law, Nancy and Mary Caine.
The Blaine store where they had leased space to sell antiques was closing, leaving them in need of a new location to sell their treasures.
Molly owned the building at 224 E. Main St. and the space was vacant. So the three decided to set up their own shop.
“We love antiques,” said Nancy Caine. “At some point you just have so much you don’t know what to do with it anymore.”
Having a store in downtown Anoka helps to find a home for many of the items she and Jeff find at sales and markets.
The couple took over the business from Molly, who has since died, back in 2005. They both had full-time careers while running the store on the side. Nancy worked for 33 years as a court reporter and Jeff ran his own land surveying company.
The two, now retired from their day jobs, continue to open and close the Anoka store every day and work some shifts throughout the week.
Sellers who lease space at Antiques on Main are also required to work at the store a couple of times a month.
The couple have been fortunate to keep their antiquing hobby as a thriving business that is frequented by a lot of local shoppers.
“That helps that we have people in the area who come in regularly,” said Nancy. “It keeps the business year-round, we’re not a tourist town.”
More than 30 different dealers have items for sale at the store, some of whom have been selling their finds at Antiques on Main since it opened in 1992.
Nancy recycles many of her own pieces that might have a place in her home for a while, and then make their way to the store for sale. She has a special love for antique furniture, old decor and pictures.
She credits the variety the store has to its success.
“We have dealers that specialize in a lot of different things – jewelry, glassware, military,” said Nancy.
A strong downtown shopping area has also helped.
“The location is good, downtown has been really great,” Nancy said. “There are a lot of other shops and that is a draw.”
Antiques on Main also limits the number of reproductions and new items it has for sale.
As for the particular items customers are searching for, what’s hot changes every few years.
“Sometimes its Red Wing crocks and then for a while you won’t be able to sell a crock,” said Nancy. Right now old trunks are especially popular.
Antiques on Main will celebrate its 20th anniversary June 2 and 3 with gift certificate giveaways and other specials.
By the time the celebration weekend rolls around, East Main Street construction work will have moved down the block and away from the doorsteps of the businesses on the south side of East Main, between Second and Third avenues.
“It’s going to be stunning when it’s finished,” said Nancy, who is willing to put up with some short-term inconveniences for the finished product of a newly reconstructed Main Street. “It will be really good for Anoka.”
Antiques on Main, located at 212 E. Main St., is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for Wednesdays and Thursdays when the store stays open until 8 p.m.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org