Eric and Jennifer DeRyke have partnered with Don Cochran to purchase the Antique Mall at 209 S. Main St. from Jan Gingrich.
Their goal is to offer their items at a fair price, said Eric.
“We want to buy right and sell right, so everybody’s happy,” Eric said.
Added Jennifer, “We are trying to be really reasonable in our pricing. With our knowledge of what we have in it (paid) and what we need to turn it over, we hope to have a good business here in Vicksburg.”
Some of the consignment people will let you bargain for them but a few won’t come down in price at all, she said.
The new owners have a network of dealers all the way into Indiana. They also buy and sell with local customers and have three new consignment dealers who display and sell their goods in the shop.
“We started coming here when auctions were held on Prairie Street, so we know some of the people in town and Don knows most all of the customers,” said Jennifer. “We want to be part of the community.”
Dealers do not have to work in the store as in the past because the three owners are staffing the store full time.
Cochran knows the customers as he has had a booth there for many years.
“You meet a lot of interesting people in this business,” DeRyke said. “Some think their stuff is worth one million but it’s worth only five cents and others think things are worthless, and they turn out to be real antiques.”
Eric does much of the research on items, digging into the Internet until he finds what something is and its origin.
He loves history and spending lots of time at auctions with Jennifer who takes care of the business end of the shop.
“It’s fun going into a barn and finding stuff,” she said. “It’s amazing where you can find things. We love to go ‘pickin’ on Sunday or any other day for that matter.”
All three have different specialties but they have agreed that large pieces of furniture are items they want to feature.
They also plan to start buying gold and silver along with glassware, vintage toys, and old car items like hood ornaments. World War II items are hot right now and even foreign money is trading well, Cochran said.
Cochran lives in Comstock but used to live in Vicksburg where his two children attended school. His grandfather was Clark Weinberg who farmed in the area. The DeRykes live on the east side of Kalamazoo between Galesburg and Richland. They have four children, ages 19, 18, 15 and 3, who will help in the store from time to time.