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Antiques and architectural finds in northeast Nebraska

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 3:39 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The familiar saying, “If they don’t have it, you don’t need it”, could apply to a business on main street in Newman Grove.

The owners of B & M Antiques and Architectural Salvage have a storefront full of items to adorn your home. Jim Cox is one of the owners. He’s worked in the antique business for years. “Finding (a good antique) is about as nice as selling it. I like both aspects of that,” Jim said. He runs the business with his wife Esther, and brother Brad. The brothers have a wide variety of items for people to see.

“We do traditional antiques, we do primitives,” Brad said. The primitives continue to be popular among customers. “If you can get something that’s got old paint on it, they don’t want new paint, they want old paint. So, you get things like old cabinets.”

But this business also specializes in architectural finds. If you see the storefront on main street, you might think that is the extent of it. But, there’s more. Much more. In fact, Brad and Jim manage three warehouses full of items. “(In the warehouses you’ll find) old house components, antique woodwork, doors, a myriad of things like that. Things that we’ve salvaged from old houses,” Brad said. “I figured it out one day, and we have approximately 50 or 60-thousand square feet under roof,” Jim said.

Facebook has been a friend to the owners of this business in terms of getting the word out about their store. Jim’s wife handles much of the social media. However, people also find B & M Antiques through word of mouth. “I would say we serve primarily Nebraska and contiguous states,” Brad said. “Once in a while, we get someone who is going through from a little further away.”

It turns out, Brad and Jim’s parents ran this business for 40 years. “Then when our father passed away, we had to debate what to do with it,” Brad said. “We were going to sell it off, and Jim had been in the antique business for most of his life. We were in the process of wholesaling stuff, but we had people coming around asking if we had this, or had that, and I was not too many years from retirement, and I thought it might be fun to do this. It worked out so Jim could be closer by. One thing led to another, so that’s been 3 or 4 years ago.”

Brad and Jim still enjoy the hunt for treasure, but finding antiques and primitives is getting a little harder these days. “That’s partly because people now realize its value,” Brad said. “It’s a little harder to buy something where we can be the middle man. People want to sell it directly, or they want more than we can pay.” But there are still treasures to be found, and you can certainly go on a treasure hunt of your own at B & M Antiques and Architectural Salvage. “People that want to find some interesting things are willing to travel quite a long way, and for them, it’s the thrill of the hunt, too,” Jim said. “They come out to the middle of nowhere in Newman Grove and they say, look what we found!”

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