Business: North End Thrift
Owner: Pete Wilson, 43, of Cape May
Location: 901 Bayshore Road, Villas, Lower Township
Employees: 2 full time, up to 4 part time
Owner Pete Wilson speaks about the business:
North End Thrift buys and sells almost anything. We specialize in house cleanouts. We do estate sales, we do moving services.
I started more with antiques, but with the economy the way it is, it's kind of turned into functional items. I sell musical instruments and fishing rods, and furniture, antiques and collectibles.
The shop is about 5,000 square feet, so it's a pretty large store.
We keep all the items in categories, teapots with teapots, all the Hess trucks together. We have sports collectibles such as NASCAR and signed baseballs and sports figurines.
We have vintage records, from the early 1900s to vintage rock 'n' roll.
We have a complete library, which has rare, vintage and new books and all types of magazines, from comic books to old Life magazines.
We also have a lot of used tools, from hand tools to power tools. We carry hunting and fishing items, including bows, rods, freshwater to deep-sea fishing gear.
Our last room, considered our dining room, has china cabinets, glassware, plates and pottery.
I have an advertising company, basically looking to buy stuff and sell stuff. I have people come in here with truckloads or one item for sale.
I also go to people's homes and either buy one item or the contents of the house. We've done three houses today and brought in boxes of stuff to sell. A lot of times when people have to clean out a house, they don't know what to do with it.
I have a 14 foot box truck, as well as a pickup and trailers, and a large storage facility.
Thrift shopping has turned into a craze. Someone will come in, as they did today, with a boxful of bayonets and old knives. Yesterday I bought a banjo.
Entry: I used to be a commercial fisherman. My grandmother died about six years ago and my relatives called me after they got everything out of the house they wanted. I rented a small space at a local antique shop and started selling out of there. A year later I started here in the Villas.
The future: We had a location in Cape May that we recently closed. I'm looking for a second location in Middle Township, and would like to incorporate an auction and outdoor vendors.
Business editor Kevin Post