The Vintage Hideaway flips the script on antiquing

Nichol and Tony Hommerding, owners of The Vintage Hideaway. (Submitted photo)

A thrift and antique store in Hermantown has brought a fresh take on antiquing and thrifting in the Twin Ports. The Vintage Hideaway focuses on uniquely staging items, restoring pieces looking for a little bit of love and creating a welcoming environment by offering coffee and snacks in its pantry.

The shop on Midway Road opened in 2020, but it has been in the making for some time. Owners Nichol and Tony Hommerding have been restoring and selling antique pieces under their company Tonic Salvage since 2018.

After frequently filling up their home and outside ‘hideaway huts’ with antiques, they knew it was time for a change.

“We had it at our house location, and we absolutely just got too big,” said Nichol. “And then we found this place!”

The husband and wife duo has always had a passion for antiquing, picking and restoring old pieces.

“We go all the way to Florida through the Ozarks,” Nichol said. “I think [it] is our favorite spot because we can find so much stuff that we don’t have up here.”

Unlike other thrift and antique malls, The Vintage Hideaway likes to set the scene and tell a story with the way the store is organized. (Submitted photo)

Tony said that through years of travels and experience, they knew what they wanted and didn’t want when it came to running Tonic Salvage and starting up the Vintage Hideaway.

“We did not just want cubbies where people could put their [items like a] typical antique mall … we wanted to stage our items so people can actually see,” Nichol said. “[Staging] helps people because there are items that we’ll have from the early 1900s that we’ll decorate and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s a cool idea.’”

The Hommerding’s pride themselves on creating a homelike staged setting so people can see every last knickknack while also getting ideas for their own homes.

On top of staging a new experience every time for their customers, Tony and Nichol also wanted to create a safe, fun and inviting space where people were able to socialize with one another while they shared their love for antiquing.

“We wanted a little coffee bar so people can have coffee and walk around. We have people that will come and sit down, have some samples, have some popcorn, have some coffee and just talk,” Nichol said. Tony chimed in saying that those are the things they both wanted out of the pantry area of the Hideaway — everyone to feel happy, welcome and comfortable when they walked through the door.

But running a large antique store isn’t always easy. Tony and Nichol originally ran their shop five days a week, and it just didn’t work for the type of quality they wanted from items they had for sale.

“None of our vendors could keep up,” Nichol said. “It’s a lot. We have to find it, we have to clean it, we have to paint it or fix it or restore it or make new. It’s not just bringing [it] in and we’re done.”

Almost every goodie inside the Vintage Hideaway is redone and in working condition. Nichol and Tony both want items to be set and ready to go so customers don’t have to spend more time fixing it up themselves or spending money on something that doesn’t work yet.

Nichol and Tony fix up and clean furniture to sell at their shop. They want their customers to have pieces they love that will last them longer than something that could be purchassed from a box store such as Target, Ikea or Walmart. (Submitted photo)

But the Hommerdings wouldn’t have it any other way. They love taking the extra effort to bring life back into history and watch people recall memories based on the things they see in the shop.

“[People] want to hear history on a piece,” Tony said. He also recalled multiple stories where customers would buy an item because it was something they remembered from their mother’s house or their grandma’s house — they would buy items to reflect on their own personal history and the memories they had with the item.

The Vintage Hideaway is located at 3850 Old Midway Road in Hermantown and is open Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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