Today’s Out To Lunch guests are Henry and Jackie Jones, co-owners of the enormous and popular Roadshow’s 400 Antique Mall and the soon-to-be opened Roadshow Antiques in Pickering. We have met at the Pickering Markets for a short tour of their newest location and then we are off to Swiss Chalet in Pickering for lunch.
Peter: Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I can’t imagine how busy you both must be organizing this new location. I have sensed from talking with other people in this business that things are starting to turn around and sales are improving as far as antiques are concerned.
Henry: I agree. We wouldn’t be getting into a second location if we didn’t feel that this economy is finally starting to recover.
Peter: Sandy and I have both been to your Roadshow Antiques Mall and were impressed with the building’s size and the quality of antiques you have there. How big will this second location be?
Henry: The Roadshow’s 400 Market has 32,000 square feet and the new Pickering location will have 22,000 square feet. We will have room for 130 booths at Pickering and have purchased 62 showcases. We will probably have 70 showcases when we are finished. This is going to be a totally upscale market set up. It will be different than any other antique mall. We have purchased gondolas, display fixtures and what they call power-walls (these are are lighted feature walls) from a chain of retail stores that have gone out of business. I have purchased over 900 feet of walls.
Jackie: This is going to be a completely new way to present and market antiques in a professional retail manner.
Henry: I think the days are gone when you would walk into a store and there would be a little old man sitting behind a cluttered counter reading a book. People don’t want to pick up dusty items, they want to see nice, clean, well-presented quality items. That’s what we are going to do at Pickering and I think the dealers, as well as the customers, will appreciate this.
Peter: The Pickering Market will be a great location for your new set up.
Henry: Yes we are excited to be in partnership with Pickering Markets. It is the largest enclosed market in Canada, boasting over 150,000 square feet. The market is a combination gigantic flea market, international food court, farmers market and trade centre, catering to over 10,000 people every weekend. Our new facility will be located at the north end of the building. We will be open seven days a week from 10 am to 5:30 pm.
Peter: It must be a challenge just to staff and train people to run both locations.
Henry: We will have two separate staffs. We will have people come to Roadshow 400 for training and I will travel between the two locations.
Peter: How did you two meet and get started in this business?
Henry: As a teenager in England I began doing “boot” sales (a British type of sale at which people sell things from the trunk of their car) on weekends and later started as an electrician in the pottery industry in Stoke On Trent. I came to Canada as an electrical engineer and started a part-time business as a dealer, buying and selling antiques.
Jackie: I worked in the banking industry for about 10 years, while attending auctions and garage sales with my girlfriends. I would buy the odd antique, but just for pleasure. I eventually began working as a manager at an antique store which is where Henry and I met and fell in love.
Henry: In 1995, we opened the Cookstown Castle Antique Centre. We had 24 vendors. In 1997, we opened the Antique and Art Gallery in Cookstown with 25 vendors. We opened the Roadshow Antiques at Highway 400 and 89 with 12,000 square feet and 50 vendors, growing it to 22,000 square feet with 100 spaces. We then opened the Roadshow 400 Antique Mall at the 400 Market, which we have expanded to 32,000 square feet with over 200 vendor spaces.
Jackie: We are blessed to still have some amazing friends and vendors with us from the “Castle” days and the Roadshow Antiques in Cookstown. We have some incredible staff who are dedicated to serving our clients and vendors. We could not have done all of this without them.
Peter: If my math is correct, you will have 340 vendor spaces and 130 showcases in the two locations. And as if the two of you are not busy enough, Jackie is also a successful author of a series of children’s books.
Jackie: Yes. After an injury in 2006, I have worked from our home in Thornton. That’s when G- Bugs, “The Gratitude Bugs”, children’s books were created. The idea for The Gratitude Bugs came to me in a dream in February, 2007. Within three months, I’d written eight stories and to date have self- published four of them.
Peter: Our young nephews have enjoyed your books very much so we know first hand that you are a gifted author. We will all be looking forward to future G-Bugs books, although we know that the new Pickering location is going to keep both you and Henry quite busy for a great deal of time. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedules to have lunch today. Sandy and I both wish you all the best in this huge endeavour you are taking on. Vendors wishing information on renting a spot at the Pickering location can meet with Henry and Dave at the Pickering Market, 1600 Squires Beach Road, on March 1, 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Additional Open Houses are scheduled for the following Saturdays and Sundays in March. Or call 705-436-6225, or toll free at 877-944-8881.
(Roadshow Antiques Pickering opened in April 2013.)