'Buyin' Bill Aumand' sets up shop in Bellows Falls
BELLOWS FALLS -- Will and Laura Doherty weren't sure at first how they were going to get it home.
The young couple from Baltimore, Md., fell in love with a three-drawer oak chest they found at Aumand's Junk-Tiques on Friday, but Will had to measure the backseat to see if it would fit in their vehicle. Thanks to some repositioning and maneuvering from business owner Bill Aumand, the Dohertys -- who were visiting relatives in New England for the holiday -- managed to secure the piece and hit the road for their next destination.
Aumand and his wife, Lori, said the young Dohertys were just a sampling of the happy customers who leave their store having found exactly what they want -- even if they initially don't know they were looking for it. The Aumands set up shop at 4 Atkinson St. earlier this month, opening a storefront in the village after a lifetime of buying and selling. They once had a store in Claremont, N.H., and more recently made a living selling antiques at roadshows, though they have occasionally sold out of a 3,800-square-foot warehouse they own until Wednesday.
"I wanted to get the storefront for the buying part," Bill said, adding that he is sometimes referred to as Buyin' Bill Aumand. "The selling's been real good. We sell used furniture, antiques and collectibles. We buy and sell gold and silver and coins and military (antiques). We also like local history, Bellows Falls stuff."
He said the community has been very receptive to the new storefront.
The Aumands also buy out homes and estates to stock their store with the knickknacks of yesteryear. Everything from old Pepsi advertising signs to vintage Boston Red Sox merchandise fills the space with the aroma of years gone by hanging in the air.
The oak chest the Dohertys purchased was a house-ready piece made around the turn of the century. There are no set prices at Aumand's Junk-Tiques, and the chest sold for about $70.
"My mom is a lover of antiques. Her whole house is full of them. I grew up around them," said Lauren Doherty. "I just like the way it looks."
Bill Aumand said he grew up working at Aumand's Furniture in North Walpole, N.H., which is owned by his uncle, Raymond Aumand. His grandfather, Ernie Aumand, got him started in the business of buying and selling. Bill and Lori now live in Westmoreland, N.H.
Bill said the building now housing the business was once a used furniture store, though it most recently was a business called Mama Jenn's Novelties (formerly known as Mad Hatter Novelty). That business was a head shop, which means it sold paraphernalia used for the consumption of tobacco or drugs, and was in the middle of a controversy for having "synthetic marijuana," or natural herbs sprayed with chemicals, in its inventory. Mama Jenn's former owner Jennifer Cole-Dawson told the Reformer in June the synthetic drugs had been left behind by the previous owner of the business and she called the police to have it confiscated.
Aumand's Junk-Tiques is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by chance on Monday.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.
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