For those scrambling to find that unique gift for Christmas look no further and head downtown Barrie to the newest one-stop shop.
Mantiques opened up this past Oct. 21 at 56 Dunlop St. W. and is close to 4,000 square feet of items you didn’t even know you wanted until you saw them. Jim Trimble owns the store that is full of knick knacks and rarities, and says it was a much needed addition to a growing downtown.
“We think downtown Barrie needed something like this,” said Trimble. “There are not a lot of shops down here to just browse and look around; there’s lots of bars, restaurants and speciality shops. But unlike some other towns in Ontario there wasn’t an antique shop on the main strip where you could just have a coffee and wander through.”
Trimble wasn’t always involved in the antique trade, but has always had a passion for it. The 40-year-old was a professional chef for 15 years until one day he just got up and left the kitchen as he wanted to do something else with his life.
“I started doing this about four or five years ago and was just consigning in small stores around town and eventually met another business owner and we decided to open this up together,” said Trimble. “I just love antiques and old stuff and the story they tell. There’s a real history behind everything. Generally, the older stuff is much better built than it is nowadays and everybody loves sentimental things. You wouldn’t believe how many people come in to just browse and end up seeing something they remember as a kid from their grandparent’s house or a toy they loved to play with but lost in moving.”
There really is something for everyone as toys for kids line the shelves and opposite them are the vinyl records for those who miss the sound of record playing. A mixture of older furniture and new DVD’s are also within the store and there are two levels to shop from as Trimble assures that both are popular as far as the response from the community tells him.
“People have been telling us they love it,” said Trimble. “So far we’ve had folks really grabbing up the vinyl records as well as men’s and women’s jewellery. We also have popular Coca-Cola items which are sought after by collectors and military stuff that is hard to keep in stock. There is even a rare item in here of poison bottles that has a Barrie drugstore name on the label and are half full. You never know what you’re going to see.”
Mantiques has used a lot of Trimble’s collection of things and he constantly searches estate sales, online auctions and even has people come in to show their wares for him to buy. Talking to people who come in is Trimble’s favourite part and he admits that Mantiques is trying to do it’s best to be involved with the people of Barrie more than just with the shop.
“We are trying to get involved with the community as well which I find is just a really important aspect of owning a business in a community already so active in that area,” said Trimble. “Every month we try to do a fundraiser of sorts and for November we jumped on Movember for men’s health awareness. In December we will be filling the sleigh at the front of the shop with toys for ROCK 95 and their toy drive. We are also looking to do something in January with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and continue the giving throughout 2018. We hope to be here for a long time and our plan is to plant roots where we can grow.”