AUSABLE FORKS — From jade lions to Japanese scrolls, lacquered cabinets, trench art, furniture and quilts to tools and antiquated but functional kitchen ware.
Karla Oehler and Bill Berkmann’s Tea Time Antiques is as eclectic as it gets.
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“We picked the name so people will make a connection with the hours we are open, 3 to 6, which is generally associated with tea time,” said Oehler. “Many businesses have unpredictable hours and seasonal schedules, but you won’t be disappointed at Tea Time. That’s when we’ll be there. We’re not your average dusty old antique store.”
Reflecting on their previous experiences, Oehler said, “We had a book store and art gallery and a nature store in Lake Placid, so we will be giving it another shot.”
Oehler and Berkmann are long-time residents of Au Sable Forks, familiar to many residents and business people.
The couple is interested in assisting in a resurgence of business enterprises in AuSable Forks, as in the last few years there has been a downturn with the closing of stores such as NAPA and Aubuchon hardware, which has resulted in empty spaces in the downtown area.
The 100-year old Tahawus building where the shop is located rises up between the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River and the Hollywood Theater. The building’s owners, Appleby Foundation (Craig Brashear and Rebecca Kelly), have restored the classic wood store front that harkens back to a busy time in the town’s history, and they feel the fit for Tea Time Antiques is perfect.
“After the loss of several businesses on Main Street in the last few years, we see this as a very exciting and positive step in the revitalization of the town,” said Brashear, speaking on behalf of the non-profit Appleby Foundation.