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40 years of business

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 10:59 a.m. CDT

From Jim Stalker


I can't believe it's been 40 years since we started our business. Technically, we've spanned two centuries. When we started, the old retailers I looked up to were John Coen and Leonard McCann of Coen Furniture, Leo Avazian and Florence of Coast to Coast, Burt and Harry from Creston Motor, Dave Seckington and Butch Eaton of Seckington's Hardware, and there were others. Most of those people have either passed on or are pursuing retirement elsewhere.

Now, we are pretty much the old people on the block. It's kind of a scary thought to have out-lived those icons of the retail sector in the old downtown. Now, I'm in the position of passing on the wisdom I've learned through the years to other younger business people just starting out, just trying to break into the independent business world. The only problem? Retail business as I knew it hardly exists anymore. Everything is online, and I'm still trying to turn the dang computer on.

So, if you want to know what business used to exist and where it was located, I might be able to tell you. I suppose it's ironic that as I opened this business in my youth, to sell new books and eventually moved on to used books and now have added antiques. That I ride this business out the door to coincide with my own aging process.

But wait! I'm not quite ready to quit. At least not until I try one more thing. Creston downtown is still in a prime location for development. By that, I mean antiques! We could become a destination point if we only had a few antique shops mixed in with our existing stores downtown. We have the potential for a great mix. We already have unique eating places, historic buildings and one-of-a-kind retail stores. What a great challenge it would be for a younger business crowd to get involved in and develop. The potential is here and now! Won't some of you young entrepreneurs jump in and rebuild this town?

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