Retro Rooster antique shop now open

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ
The Retro Rooster, located at 548 2nd St. in Traer, is now open for business. Run by Bev Espenscheid, left, and Linda Caldwell, right, it offers vintage jewelry, rustic decor, furniture, antiques and knick-knacks. Playing up the store's theme, an eight-feet-tall painted metal rooster is one of the first things that catches one's eye upon entering the store.

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ The Retro Rooster, located at 548 2nd St. in Traer, is now open for business. Run by Bev Espenscheid, left, and Linda Caldwell, right, it offers vintage jewelry, rustic decor, furniture, antiques and knick-knacks. Playing up the store's theme, an eight-feet-tall painted metal rooster is one of the first things that catches one's eye upon entering the store.

TRAER — A little bit funky, a little bit junky, and everything vintage and retro chic. The Retro Rooster is a newly opened antique shop, located at 548 2nd St. in Traer. It was started by friends Bev Espenscheid, a senior mortgage banker with Wintrust Mortgage, and Linda Caldwell, owner of the former Caldwell General Store, who is now retired.

“We’re both pickers and collectors and it was our dream to open a store,” Caldwell said. “We had the stuff, we just needed the space.”

The 2,400 square foot store is filled with vintage jewelry, rustic decor, furniture, antiques and knick-knacks. Some artwork by local artist Michael Rickard is also available. Playing up the store’s theme, an eight-feet-tall painted metal rooster is one of the first things that catches one’s eye upon entering the store.

The ladies like to browse antique shops and flea markets, amassing an eclectic inventory for the store. Caldwell’s husband Jim goes “picking” for finds for the store on a weekly basis. He and Caldwell have over 50 years of experience shopping for antiques.

“Our inventory will change daily,” Espenscheid said. “It’s new, it’s used, it’s vintage, it’s funky and junky.”

The Retro Rooster does not accept consignments, but rather, will purchase your antiques and collections outright, and resell them in the store. For those interested in donating pieces to the store, the sale of those items will go directly to help fund Diamond in the Ruff Rescue, a volunteer-based animal rescue service Espenscheid co-founded. Items in the shop marked with a “D” sticker let customers know those are the pieces that benefit the organization.

The store owners’ dream is to help draw shoppers to this small town. The pair recently purchased another building in Traer which they will also use for selling antiques.

“We’re hoping to transform Traer into a Walnut, Iowa — a destination for antiques,” Espenscheid explained. “We are also hoping to host downtown events, such as ‘Junk in the Truck’ and ‘Treasures in Traer.’ We want people to make the short trip and ‘wind up in Traer.'”

The Retro Rooster is open Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for special events.

The store can be reached at: 319-240-8130. For news and updates, go to: www.facebook.com/RRTraer

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com