The Story of the Variety Store

26 Jan

I recently found myself in a small town in northern Virginia. In this small town I visited a genuine old-fashioned Variety Store. Sadly, today it is uncommon that small shops will offer you a good-sized selection as they can’t compete with larger stores that can offer lower prices and a larger variety. This shop was a true delight! It had many items which one would “need” — such as suction cups, nails, cleaning products, office supplies, etc. However, it also offered a wide selection of gifts for people of all ages and unique arts and crafts difficult to find in larger stores that sell specific name-brand crafts.

There was even a bell to ring in the back corner of the shop if you wanted ribbon to be cut! My personal favorite was the selection of penny candy lined up in jars. The customer service was lovely and customers in the shop were chatting with each other.

Not far from the Variety Store was a small cafe where I ordered lunch. I could not stop admiring a vintage toy displayed in the shop and I asked the cafe owner the story behind the piece. It was an old fashioned Japanese Pachinko Pin-Ball game/machine… great condition, framed in solid wood, and bright colors throughout. The neatest part of this story is that many people in the area grew up in military families and had spent part of their childhood in Japan, which means they instantly recognize the toy/game and love seeing a piece of their childhood along with their lunch sandwich.

This story helps summarize why I love VINTAGE items….do you have a story to share? I would love to hear it!


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