After three partners retired, the Art & Antiques Labadie Station gained new owners who simply didn’t want to see it close.
Mary Sullivan, an original owner, Donna Martin, Debbie Wagenseller and Diane Goebel became partners officially Feb. 1 after three of the original owners retired from the station, located at 128 Front St. in Downtown Labadie.
“We didn’t want to see it close,” said Martin, who remembers seeing an email that three of the owners were retiring. Donna spoke with her husband about becoming an owner and decided to go for it.
“It’s gone very well,” she said. “These ladies are very talented in merchandising and making the store as beautiful as it can be.”
The station, which used to be a train depot and then a grocery store, has booths set up for different vendors to sell their art collectibles and antiques. Currently, there are more than 20 vendors featured.
With the partners bringing in new vendors and their consistent vendors bringing in new antiques or art, Goebel said the store is always changing.
“The store is constantly evolving,” she said.
The partners even bring their art to the store. Goebel paints and repurposes furniture, Sullivan knits socks and coin purses, Wagenseller quilts and Martin has alpacas and with the alpaca fiber she creates scarves, gloves, dryer balls and sells raw fiber.
The Art and Antiques Labadie Station is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
The partners will host an open house Saturday, April 20, from noon to 2 p.m.
The open house will be an opportunity for people to meet all four of the owners at the same time. Usually no more than two if not only one of the owners are at the store at any given time.
“We want to get the community out to learn more about us and Labadie,” Donna said.
The open house also will give vendors the opportunity to meet other vendors
“We’re looking forward to seeing what’s going to transpire in the next few months and years,” Martin said.
Most of the artists featured at the station are local, which means within 20 miles.
The artists are given an opportunity to rent space on a monthly basis as long as they maintain their booths. The women also encourage vendors to seek their opinion on redecorating and maintaining their space.
A lot of the items the vendors sell is refurbished.
“It’s important to keep little spots like this open,” Wagenseller said.
The partners are dedicated to keeping the store’s character. That’s why certain items from the original grocery store aren’t for sale.
“The building has been here since the trains ran out front,” Goebel said.
The train depot was built in 1889. The train tracks came up in the late ’20s. Then brother and sister, Herbert and Ethel Schultz, inherited the property.
There is still a calendar in the back that thy left with the date July 24, 1976, circled. That was the day they closed the doors.
“They literally turned the key and that was it,” Wagenseller said.
The Schultzes event left canned food on the shelves.
When the new partners were cleaning the store they found a lot of old photographs, some of which are now hanging on the walls.
“(We wanted to) breathe some new life into the place,” Martin said. “It’s been a lot of fun since we started.”
The partners will host a flea market Saturday, May 11. A $10 booth fee will go to Loving Hearts Outreach Food Pantry.
They also are planning to host concerts throughout the summer. Half of the proceeds will go to the band, but the other half will go toward the Labadie Community Association.
“We all want to see this go on and continue,” Goebel said.