Knowing Your Neighbors: Old Town Antiques and Books

DULUTH, Minn. – “We’ve had people knocking on our door here for many days, just many days,” Old Town Antiques and Books Owner, David Jouppi says.

Old Town Antiques and Books is back open for business in Duluth after being forced out of their previous location last year at the historic Hotel Astoria building on East Superior Street.

They were given 45 days to sell everything in the store before being forced out.

“We had 10 thousand square feet. There was no way we were going to sell all of that stuff in 45 days,” Jouppi says.

Unable to do that they had built a 36 by 28-foot garage with an upstairs space for storage. Now, after months of location scouting, they’ve finally found a new home.

“We looked for a long time to find a spot and this spot, it was perfect just for us. It’s a lot smaller, it’s a lot paired down but it’s fun. It’s not nearly the work it was at old town,” Jouppi says.

“It’s fabulous. I mean, I liked the old shop and this new one is so cozy. I love where it’s located is nice, this neighborhood is nice, and the size of this is great. And Carol and Dave have done such a great job in getting it going and getting it open,” Old Town Antiques and Books Employee/Customer, Theresa Wolner says.

Now located on East 4th Street next to Thrifters, the new space is much smaller than the previous spot-on Superior Street, transitioning from 10-thousand square feet to 800.

Along with the downsize in space, the store is currently working with four dealers whereas previously they had worked with 26.

“It’s just a place you can tell people to go, and they’ll feel wonderful coming here. They’ll find art, they’ll find eclectic things, they’ll find old things they had when they were young. It’s just a good thing to tie people together,” Wolner says.

“A lot of people say, “I remember having this as a child or I remember my mother having this in her pantry. There’s just a lot of things that bring back memories from your childhood,” Jouppi says.

Dolls, train sets, and coins are just some of the products that may bring back those childhood memories.

“It’s interesting and people find treasures. You know what I mean? It’s just fun,” Jouppi says.

The stores current hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 to 5 PM. The owners intend to be open seven days a week in the near future.

“We don’t expect you to buy, we expect you to look around and enjoy the store, enjoy what you see. This is more than about material. It’s just: enjoy what you see,” Jouppi says.

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