TROY: Offering consumers an alternative to box store inventory is a recently opened store just a few minutes down Route 19 from the Canso Causeway. Needful Things Antiques, Collectables and Pawn is now open for business.
“The ‘pawn’ part I’m not doing yet,” said Rob Ryan, the proprietor of the recently open store. “It looks like I’ll have that up and rolling by September, but it’s something I really think there’s a need for around here.”
The store offers a wide selection of antiques and collectable, ranging from photography by people like Jake Ronalds, to old-time knickknacks, kitchenware, books and furniture. Realistically, doing inventory for Ryan’s entire selection would be nearly impossible, as the items he’s selling are so varied.
Such a store is something Ryan feels will be of interest to locals and tourists alike. He’s basing that on the interest such shops draw across the province.
“When we’re out of town on a hockey trip, I drop my daughter off at the rink an hour before game time and, if I noticed an antique sign on the way in, I’m doubling back and going,” he said. “People who are into this sort of thing seek it out.”
Ryan is waiting for brochures that advertise Needful Things to people visiting the area. The brochures are currently being printed, and they’ll map out antique shops across Cape Breton. He said the brochures will be stocked at the Port Hastings Visitor Information Centre, for people arriving in Cape Breton.
On the subject of other antique stores in Cape Breton, Ryan said he owes a debt of gratitude to Robert Olsen of The Curious Collector in Blues Mills. Olsen helped Ryan with tips on how to get going, and he also helped with inventory.
Needful Things is getting a fair bit of foot traffic. Located at the former site of Last Chance Convenience, the store opened last March. Since then, a number of visitors have been through the door.
Interestingly, garnering customer interest wasn’t half as tough as garnering the Needful Things name.
Borrowed from the title of a Stephen King novel, the words ‘Needful Things’ were already used in the title of a business in Debert, namely Stoneware, Pottery, and Needful Things. This caused a boat-load of headaches when it came to the registry of joint stocks.
“They thought that was a conflict,” Ryan said. “I found out there was an appeal process, and I got it going. It took months to officially get the name.”
The business owner in Debert had no problem with the local store using ‘Needful Things’ in its name, and that helped Ryan’s case. Having the store called Needful Things, Ryan said, is proving to be appropriate.
“It’s funny, but the name really fits,” he said. “People come in looking for the oddest thing, and they find it. Maybe not every time, but quite a bit. It’s kind of cool that way.”
The store is now open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but, later in the month, those hours will reach later into the evening. The phone number is 902-625-1846, if anyone wishes to ask the owner about his inventory.
For those of you just wishing to grab an ice cream while driving Route 19, Ryan will have them covered. He’s bringing in ice cream soon, along with homemade sweets and coffee and a sitting area for customers.