WHEELING - The large glass windows that previously showcased cars at 12 W. Bethlehem Blvd. now feature an array of antiques.
Replacing a portion of a vacant car dealership, The Rustic Bucket offers products and services that include "rare finds and vintage collectables, primitive decor, and stand-up tanning."
Mark Yuncke, who owns and operates the store with wife, Jolie, and business partners Shane and Missy Helms, said The Rustic Bucket opened last spring. For the group, the venture had been a dream for years.
Photo by Rebecca Olsavsky
From left, Shane and Missy Helms and Jolie and Mark Yuncke are the owners and operators of The Rustic Bucket.
"We've always wanted to open a store," Yuncke said.
Once renovations began, Yuncke said local residents took notice of the change and often stopped to peer inside the windows.
The store is stocked with items the owners find through their own search. According to Yuncke, networking with customers also produces a cyclical process of buying and selling.
Wanting to stock items people enter the store planning to purchase and those that may peak customers' interest upon shopping, the owners display a "bucket list" at the front of the store for shoppers to add unique finds for which they have been hunting. During the owners' next flea market or auction visit, they keep the bucket list in mind.
"We know what people want to buy," Yuncke said.
With a store Yuncke described as tastefully decorated, the owners intermix a variety of items. In addition to interesting items such as old Wheeling advertisements and signs, The Rustic Bucket offers repurposed items and is the only store in the Ohio Valley to sell Faith Creek candles.
"Our inventory changes all the time," Yuncke said. "We have a good mix. It doesn't need to be a 100 years old for us to collect it."
As repurposing and antiques become more popular, Yuncke attributed part of the store's appeal to more shoppers appreciating the history behind old items.
"There's a big difference between collectors and buyers," Yuncke said. "Most of our customers want to buy stuff."
Yuncke encouraged local residents to visit.
"We're not just targeting certain types," Yuncke said.
The stand-up tanning booth service also offered at The Rustic Bucket helps to offset costs and draws in more customers, according to Yuncke.
Their interest in antiques may have started as a hobby, but the owners continue to maintain other full-time jobs as well.
To reach the store, call 304-905-1920.