Olde Barn Center: Antiquing in a country setting
At the Olde Barn Center, located at 1605 Route 220, Muncy, you will find all sorts of antiques that will be a conversation piece in your home, or a unique gift that very few people will have. By stepping through the door to the antique shop, you are stepping into a world of possible purchases.
Linda Fry and her husband purchased the barn in 1991 and debated on what they would do with the property.
“We thought people would want to come in because the barn has been here since 1850,” Fry said.
One day she and her husband took a trip out to an old dairy barn in to go antique shopping. While there, Fry said she had to step over cow manure because it has not been cleaned out and there was no side walls, which made it cold. While driving home, Fry was inspired to turn their barn into a nice antique shop.
They then started work on renovating the barn on Oct. 15, 1991, and hired an architectural firm to help draw up emergency exits, heating and such. The barn had to go though labor and industry review three times, because each time a new structure was added they would need it to be approved.
“We did it to save the building and to open up and do something with it,” Fry said.
Fry also went to a local antique shop and asked the owner what steps to take to open her own shop.
The Olde Barn Center opened on May 22, 1992, with 12 vendors, who sell their products in the shop with a central cashier and one cash register. On July 4, 1992, they opened the upstairs back room with 23 vendors. Then on Labor Day weekend of 1992, they opened the back of the barn and had a total of 40 vendors.
Business was very good when they first opened and continued to grow about 10 percent each year. When housing bubble hit the United States in 2008, business slacked for the Olde Barn Center. Since then the business has slowly started to grow back to where its numbers were in 2008.
“Probably 50 percent of our business here is antique furniture, and when people are not buying new homes or moving to a different home, furniture sales tend to be kind of slacked,” Fry said.
Many businesses would say that they have certain times of year, like around Christmas, where sales really pick up. The Olde Barn Center has steady business throughout the year.
“We don’t have any month of the year that is better traffic for business,” Fry said.
People from all over visit the Olde Barn Center, to find a unique item for their homes. Some of the most popular purchases include, furniture, collectables, character glasses, pottery, tools etc. The store also specializes in upcycling, where they make farm tables out of old timber.
“Man cave decorating is a big segment now,” Fry said, “It used to be women decorating, but now it is men decorating their man caves.”
Some items that men like to include in their man cave are tools, hatchets, axes and anything they can hang on the wall that looks manly, Fry said.
Whether you are looking to decorate your home or man cave, The Olde Barn Center is your one stop shop for unique antique items.