By Matt Clevenger
PIQUA — It was a shared love of antiquing that lead sisters Melinda McBride and Melissa Harmon to open The Birch Tree Antiques in downtown Piqua.
“Our mom really liked to go antiquing and thrift shopping,” McBride said.
“She was from Stockholm, Sweden,” Harmon said. “She became an American citizen, and she loved shopping at thrift stores and antique stores.”
“It kind of inspired us as well,” Harmon said.
Located at 319 N. Main St., The Birch Tree Antiques held a special grand opening ceremony on Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2. The 1,800-square-foot shop features antiques, vintage items and collectibles, as well as new products and other unique items.
“We have antiques, collectables and vintage,” Harmon said. “We go to market and get some new stuff, to show that you can mix the old and the new.”
“Your antiques do not have to get stuck in the attic or the basement,” she said. “You can actually combine those with the other things in your home.”
New products include seasonings, sauces and spices, as well as scented fire starters and other items.
“We carry the Finch and Fennel line,” Harmon said. “We have salts, spices, sides and starters; we also carry some barbecue sauces and some basting sauces, jams and mustards.”
The Birch Tree Antiques is located in the former Second Story Framing building.
“We started this project last August,” Harmon said. “We painted. We re-did the ceiling and we put a new floor in. We did a lot of work, trying to improve the looks and brighten it up a little bit.”
“We tried to beautify what was here, and the architecture,” she said.
Piqua natives, Harmon and McBride decided to open The Birch Tree Antiques after Harmon’s retirement.
“We were both born and raised in Piqua,” she said. “I worked in Sidney for the last 32 years and when I retired, we decided to do this.”
“We’ve had a lot of positive response,” McBride said.
“We had a booth at the old Kenmore,” Harmon said. “We had so much fun with it before, and we like to be with people and meet people in the community.”
“We’ve been around Miami County and Shelby County our whole life,” McBride said. “We like the Piqua community, and we want to be involved in it.”
The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until April 30. More information can be found online through the shop’s Facebook or Instagram pages.
“That way we can see what the community’s wants and needs are, and kind of measure the foot traffic to see what’s going to be best,” Harmon said.