Onamia antique store owners return from 12-year hiatus
Located just south of The Sunshine Flower Shoppe on Roosevelt Road in Onamia sits the Landmark Antiques and Salvage storefront. For about 12 years, the doors of this shop have been closed. As of the end of June, that status quo has now changed. Circumstances have allowed married owners Janette S. and Dewey Raiche to re-open Landmark Antiques, and they are once again supplying customers with a variety of primitive and upscaled antiques.
Janette was born in Florida, but her parents were originally from Wahkon. As her dad had been in the military, the family had moved a lot during Janette’s youth. Despite the family’s travels, Janette had primarily grown up in Wahkon and attended school at the former Wahkon schoolhouse. She went on to attend Pine Technical and Community College, where she studied house construction.
Janette had carried her family’s propensity for travel into her adult life. Previous places of residence had included Tennessee, Colorado, California, and “just a lot of different places,” she explained. “ … I left the state of Minnesota. It wasn’t my favorite place.” It was her mother who drew Janette back to Minnesota, as she had decided to settle back in Wahkon. “[My mom] loved her house in Wahkon,” Janette said, “and she loved living here.” As Janette had children of her own, she came back to the Mille Lacs area so they could be close to their grandmother.
Janette believes she first acquired the Landmark Antiques building about 25 years ago, shortly before she and Dewey were married. She bought the store from its former owner, Mickey Carter, when it had been the Book Nook. Carter had also owned a video store across the street, but Janette said it has long since been demolished.
When it came to her interest in antiques, Janette said it was something she inherited from her father. “My mom hated antiques. Even though she had them, she didn’t like them,” Janette recalled. Comparatively, she said her dad was “a buyer and seller,” and she took after him. “I guess it was close to the end of my dad’s life that I understood that,” she reflected. “The more I spent time with him and talked to him, the more I realized I was a lot like him.”
Her mom had made her own contribution to the store, in the form of its current name. While Janette had wanted to go with another name, her mom had encouraged her to go with Landmark Antiques, and the building was a local landmark.
Running an antique business, Janette noted, was largely a practice of self-learning. “You educate yourself,” she said. “You get around people who know this business, and you learn.” She noted she had an initial interest in furniture particularly. “Why? I don’t know.” Both she and Dewey had learned a lot in the process of running the shop. “When we first got married,” she said, “[Dewey] had no knowledge of antiques, but now he’s right there with me.”
Prior to the last week of this June, Landmark Antiques had not been open for 12 years. In part, Janette said, because the pair had left the building after Dewey had been in an accident, along with other life happenings. For the last ten years, the Raiches have been running their metal salvaging business, and the success they’ve seen has allowed them to re-open Landmark Antiques.
Another factor in the decision to re-open the store, Janette added, was the closing of other businesses in town. “Quaint little shops like this, in Isle and even here, are closing. People need a place to go to enjoy just buying little things.” Since re-opening, Janette added, many locals have stopped by to say they are happy to see the shop open once more.
The store’s antiques cover a broad spectrum. Janette was interested in primitive antiques. “I like history,” she said, “the older, the better.” Additionally, the store offered Dewey’s upcycled products, worn-out devices and materials he re-purposed. Janette credited Dewey’s ability to have an idea and then make it a reality. This included such pieces as a shelf made from a tractor hood, a watering trough transformed into a storage trunk, a desk crafted from a piano, birdhouses built from John Deere parts, and so forth. “We upcycle and recycle,” Janette said. “We’re not your grandma’s antique store. We’re innovative.”
Janette’s favorite aspect of running the store is being able to help people. “It’s fun to see people get something they want at a good price,” she said. The store is committed to providing reasonable pricing for its wares. When it came to operating in a small town like Onamia, it was particularly interesting to see the pieces people brought to her, she added. “Not only do you get to find and keep unique stuff,” she said, “you get to share it.”
It’s Janette’s hope that business can expand. Eventually, she’d like to move to a larger location. “We’ve got a lot of product that needs to get out there,” she said. “We’ve got tons and tons.” Whether it’s her husband, her kids or her grandchildren, Janette felt her family was supportive. She noted that she and Dewey make a good team, their skills complementing one another. Through their combined efforts, a business of Onamia’s recent past is once more gracing the town’s streets, offering the Raiches vision of antiques both old and renewed.
Landmark Antiques is on both eBay (www.ebay.com/usr/landmarkjanette) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/landmarkjanette). The store address is 102 Roosevelt Rd., Onamia, Minn. The store can be reached at (320) 420-0229. Business hours are Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.