Bedford Antique Mall has a new home

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By John Barnhart

    If you’ve driven past the former Golden Corral building on U. S. 460, on the west end of Bedford, you’ve probably noticed cars parked out front. Nobody’s coming there for lunch anymore, but rather to buy antiques. Bedford Antique Mall moved into the building on March 1.

    Valerie Almond, who, along with her husband John, owns the business, said the move was preceded by a major cleanup as the building had been vacant for eight years. However, it offered them plenty of space in a high visibility location.
    Just as it is for a homeowner, moving can be a hassle for a business. There are always those “where did I pack that?” moments. For example, Almond has a book of pottery marks. Most pottery has a mark on the bottom that tells what business made it. Almond can look through this book and identify the manufacturer from that mark.
    “She’s good at that,” said Brenda Parker, former owner of The Keeping Room. Parker has some stalls at the mall.
    Or, at least Almond is good at that when she can find her book. Now, what box did that get packed in? She’ll find it.
    Bedford Antique Mall has existed for 11 years and the Almonds have owned it for nine. The couple had a booth in the mall and, when it came up for sale, they seized the opportunity.
    “We had always loved antiques,” she said.
    They have 35 booths, with some vendors having more than one. Almond said that most of them are experienced in the antique world and very knowledgeable about the type of antiques they sell. All the vendors came to the new location with them.
    “They jumped in and helped clean up the place,” she said. She added that the antique mall’s new location is still a work in progress which will probably take a year to complete.
    Almond maintains what she calls a “wish book.” If a customer comes in looking for something that she doesn’t have available, she writes down his name in the wish book and notifies him if it does come in.
    “But, mostly people come in for common things,” Almond said.
    She still has the same hours. The Antique Mall is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday hours are from noon to 5 p.m. “But, if it’s five o’clock and there are still customers here, I will stay open,” Almond said.