Business: Michael’s Curiosity Shop

Location: 239 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Route 550, Dennis Township (west of Woodbine)

Owner: Michael Jenkins, 66, of Mays Landing

Employees: Five

Phone: 609-427-6460

Michael’s Curiosity Shop offers very unusual items, in addition to antiques, collectibles and furniture. For example, we have an early 1950s Ferris wheel, 3 feet tall with lights, with a Chevy logo that was built for a promotion.

We have a carousel wooden horse, a work in progress that was never completed, with a brass pole. It’s absolutely beautiful. A 1930s hand-carved oak bedroom set includes a bureau, nightstand, headboard and footboard. An Amish doll collection has a considerable number of pieces, with some furniture to go with it. We also have a petite grandmother’s clock from 1930.

We stock a large collection of estate jewelry, with rings, bracelets, necklaces, pins and watches. Furniture includes a nice rattan lacquered porch set with cushions and tables. I’ve got a samurai sword with the original markings on it, and a replica of a military sword. I’ve also got a signed Ben Hogan photo from the first hole of the 1950 U.S. Open.

We have more than 300 original oil paintings from a Millville artist, Jacqueline Horner. Many are seascapes, boats, shore scenes and landscapes. We also carry a large number of picture frames.

Children’s items include an Electra girl’s bike, a Radio Flyer wagon, a fire-chief wagon, and a Barbie Corvette with working lights and radio.

We also hold auctions, every other week on Saturdays, what we call a tailgate auction. People bring stuff and we sell it right out of the back of their cars. We take a commission and they get the rest. We’re always looking for quality consignments to sell and auction. We also auction items that haven’t sold at retail in a month or six weeks.

Entry: I had an auction at this site, and realized people were selling things they bought at the auction for more than we were getting. So I decided to open a shop to get more of the retail value of them. I used to have a chain of Auntie Anne’s pretzel stores, and I sold my last one this year and was looking for something to keep me busy. This certainly has done that.

The future: We’re going to open a temporary store (today) in the Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township for the holidays. We’ll also do some auctions at the Shore Mall site.