Greenwood was once a railroad hub, but it looks like it may make its name in the future as a destination for lovers of antiques and collectibles. When it opened two months ago, Greenwood Treasure Trove became the fourth such shop in a town of a little over 1,000 people (with multiple similar spots just outside town limits).
The owners, Jay and Sheree Reibsome and their daughter Keri Reibsome, see themselves as joining a growing antiques marketplace in town that can pull in more people than a single shop could.
“We’re going to have something completely different from others,” Keri Reibsome said. “... People can say, ‘Oh, you know I want to go out antiquing for a day,’ and they can hit all four, five, six (stores) and find completely different things, so we don’t see it as competition.”
Joyce Lapp of Dover, one of the vendors at Greenwood Treasure Trove, shared that optimism. She said having the other shops makes the town a destination.
Those include Market Place Antiques and Collectibles along Route 13 on the north side of town; It's All Country at the corner of 13 and Market; and Wilderlove Handmade and Vintage on Market Street next to the post office.
“They’re all so different,” she said. When she and her friends go out looking for collectibles shops, they’ll pick a town that has three or four options rather than one or two. “If you go to a town where there’s only one place, it kind of limits you.”
That theory seems to be panning out so far. The Reibsomes say business is already great even though they started late in the summer season, and customers have been enthusiastic.
Lapp, who sells artwork and clothing in the space she rents, was also enthusiastic as a vendor. She used to sell in other locations too, but has stopped because she’s doing so well at the Treasure Trove that she doesn’t need another spot, she said.
“I’m doing very well here; I’m very happy with the outcome.”
With items selling so well, she said, it keeps the Treasure Trove's inventory fresh and that also brings people back.
A site with a lot of history
The Treasure Trove is the latest in a string of similar shops in the historic building, which was a hardware store for decades. Most recently, of course, it housed Wilderlove Handmade and Vintage and Amity Coffee Roasters, both of which moved out after a fire destroyed the Pit Stop bar next door and damaged the building. Before Wilderlove, the shop was called Gallery 16.
The Treasure Trove has benefited from those connections. Keri Reibsome said she thinks people often mistook them for Wilderlove when they first opened, and would walk in looking for Amity Coffee, too.
Amity is slated to reopen soon just across the street.
“It’ll be nice to have them so close,” she said.
“It’ll be awesome,” Jay Reibsome said.
The previous businesses rented the building, but the Reibsomes have purchased it.
The weathered hardwood floor on the old building’s spacious ground floor is already packed with furniture, shelves of knicknacks, jewelry, candles, plush toys, handmade items, artwork, photography and more. There are also piles of old vinyl records, which help serve as a draw for a younger clientele of music aficionados.
Sheree Reibsome estimated the inventory is about 75 percent antiques.
Wilderlove customers will remember the upstairs space; that’s not open yet. The new owners have to do some work on it first, including building a fire escape, but hope to have that finished soon.
They could use the space. The Treasure Trove has about 20 dealers renting spots, with what Keri called a pretty extensive waiting list of people wanting to get in.
“They're just chomping at the bit for us to open (the upstairs),” she said.
A dream becomes reality
Jay Reibsome has had the antiquing bug his whole life. At 6 years old, he was pulling his wagon to a flea market to sell items, he said. “It just got in my blood, and this is how we've been doing it all our lives.”
This is the fifth such shop he’s had. He rented other spaces, like Broadkill Trading Post in Lewes and Rehoboth, and has also done business under the name Red Mill Pond Trading Post. And he actually had a booth in the Greenwood building he now co-owns, when it was under Wilderlove.
Reibsome has worked other jobs as well for years. But now he’s retired from those and this is his full time job. He calls it a dream come true. “I didn’t plan on it being this early (in life),” he said.
“He loves it, and he literally has been here every single day for the past two months,” Keri Reibsome said.
It’s a family enterprise. Keri, an accountant who lives in Pennsylvania, helps manage the books and the store’s social media accounts. Jay and Sheree team up to run the store, and find their niches in the day to day work. Jay enjoys the competition and challenge of searching out new treasures in the area and Sheree helps run the register and paint furniture.
Thanks to Keri, the shop is embracing the digital realm as well, with Facebook Marketplace serving as a way to promote and sell their goods.
The Reibsomes interact with people when they come in, they know the merchandise and they’re good salespeople, Lapp said.
“They’re great, and that’s a big part of why it’s doing so well,” she said.
It’s hard to predict how this first year will go, since the Treasure Trove started when much of the summer tourist season was already past.
But things escalated quickly, Keri Reibsome said. “We actually did really well for our first month in August; for a full month, we were happy. And then we surpassed that in the middle of September and we kept going.”
Lapp is a fan of the central location on Market Street. “We have a lot of good traffic there from the beachgoers, I think that’s a big plus,” along with the other antique stores in town and Amity Coffee coming back nearby.
“So far it’s been great.”
Greenwood Treasure Trove is located at 13 W. Market Street in Greenwood. It's open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Find more information on its Facebook page.