Todburn Antiques cuts staff without skimping on style

You won’t have to travel far to find Todburn Antiques’ new location. He moved next door. Along with American Pie, Treasures and Antiques, and Chatchkes, the store is one of the few to remain on a strip of Fruitville Road that is now home to a vaping store, hair salon, and other service businesses.

After six years, owner Donald Jobe has grown from a 5,000 square foot space to about half, but has retained all of the wacky, wicked and eclectic flavor that turns the store into a patchwork of time in the 1950s, ’60s. and ’70s.

Jobe says he wanted something more intimate and that it was difficult to keep track of all the inventory that filled the previous space. He started moving in October and the new location was up and running in time for the holidays.

Amid the pandemic, Jobe says, residents have rediscovered where they live, and a surge of support from residents and restaurateurs in nearby cities like Tampa has become new customers.

Jobe has been collecting and selling antiques for 60 years, 33 of them in West Point, Connecticut, some in Manhattan.

What’s the oldest thing you’ll find in his store? “Me,” he said. Fascinated by unique treasures since his childhood, this 77-year-old man still cares about a small Japanese vase with broken handles that he bought at the age of 8.

The shop houses everything from antique thimbles to sassy illustrations by Alberto Vargas. As for a targeted specialty, “there is too much inventory to list,” he says. The best-selling items include pottery, glass art, and antique cameras, clocks and radios.

A bar offers mid-century glassware, decanters and flasks. And a clothing nook sparkles with enough sequined dresses to outfit a theater troupe, as well as feathered hats, some designed by Jobe. In the bathroom, Marilyn Monroe smiles from all corners, with rare top-to-bottom snaps and iconic catches of the star. A collection of vintages Coca Cola panels cover one wall and at the back, antique wooden toys bring grandpa stories to life “before there were video games”.

From the weird and unique to the fun and playful, Jobe has it all, even in a smaller space.

Todburn Antiques is now located at 1526 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, and is open 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

About Oscar L. Smith

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