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Antique store in Baroda commemorating 50 years in business

By TONY WITTKOWSKIJune 2, 2019

BARODA, Mich. (AP) — Ted Muellen was 12 years old when he and his mother opened Shawnee Road Antiques in Baroda.

Muellen, owner of the antique store, is now 62 as his shop turned 50 years old over Memorial Day weekend.

The shop has grown in size over the years. The operation began with one building. However, the shop now has three to its name.

What is now the main shop was built in 1972. A former workroom and storage area was turned into a clothing area about two decades ago, which is run by Muellen’s girlfriend, Marsha Ruby.

However, the first building was used as a storage shed.

“My mom and I started the shop in 1969,” he told The Herald-Palladium. “We were farming and had a flower business before that. The barn we started in was a packing shed where we had apple and peach orchards.”

Muellen was a minor partner when he and his mom opened it. Muellen said he began collecting items when he was 8.

The first antique he ever bought was a pair of French bayonets from the 1800s.

Shawnee Road Antiques has a large range of items. Antiques for sale differ from furniture to Victorian pieces to art deco.

“We have three buildings full of stuff,” he said. “A lot of times when people come for the first time, they thank us for having old school antiques. It’s more than just collectibles and decorative items.”

The antique shop doesn’t work on consignment. Everything sold there is owned by Muellen and Ruby.

Muellen said they’re limited in their outreach and market because they don’t sell anything online. They also don’t go to trade shows anymore.

“This is our only outlet. I feel we’re established enough and we do enough to get by,” Muellen said. “If the pile is big enough, you hope people find what they’re looking for.”

When he used to go to auctions and trade shows, Muellen said he would travel east and down south to buy items.

He’s still out looking around, but Muellen said he sticks to Midwest roots. When he is on the hunt for antiques, Muellen sets his parameters as far north as Minnesota and as south as Kentucky.

“When I’m at an auction, I’m amazed at what other dealers pay for stuff,” he said. “I used to do a lot of shows, but I don’t anymore. When you’re dealing with a shop out of the city it’s hard to get out that much.”

Despite being a bit out of the way, Muellen said the eight wineries in the area pull people off the highway and has drawn traffic to the shop.

Muellen said he doesn’t foresee much change for Shawnee Road Antiques.

“It’s the only job I’ve ever done,” he said. “Even when times are slow we’ve found our way through it. We have so much stuff, the pile keeps growing.”

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Information from: The Herald-Palladium, http://www.heraldpalladium.com

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