SIDNEY – Doni Donaldson has owned several businesses, and now he’s trying to make it in retail along with his wife, Stacey, as owners of Ohio Avenue Variety Store.
“It’s a jump,” Doni Donaldson said of entering the retail industry. “I’ve owned a detail shop, car detailing shop, downtown years ago; I had it for seven years. I had a pool hall downtown. I’ve taken different adventures, you know, and this is just a new step. And I’m hoping that retail is going to be the place to be. I’m hoping that when Stacey and I get older it will be like a mom and pop shop.”
Ohio Avenue Variety Store, which is located at 301 N. Ohio Ave. in Sidney, opened May 6. The Donaldsons were joined by the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and community leaders on Wednesday for an official ribbon cutting.
“It’s been going pretty good,” Doni Donaldson said of business so far. “A little slow but, you know, we expected that in the beginning, but hopefully it will pick up. We’ve made some pretty good sales, and like I said we’re expanding as we talk. We’ve got five more pallets coming in right now.”
The variety store has lots of variety with toys, electronics, household items, furniture, clothing and more throughout the 2,700 square foot space.
“There’s going to be something added new to the store every week, I hope,” Doni Donaldson said. “That’s the way we planned on it. We want to get people to come in and see what we’ve got. We’ve got a variety of everything.
“We might need a few more toys here and there, but we’ll get there. We’re just kind of feeling things out right now to see what everybody wants. And like I said before, you know if we don’t have it and they ask us, we’ll do the best we can to get it for them.”
Ohio Avenue Variety Store gets overstock items through liquidation sales to stock its inventory.
“It’s been sitting on a shelf for a little while. You know how they inventory and restock so then they sell their shelf pulls, which is all brand new stuff,” Doni Donaldson said. “You see open boxes here and there, but we open things and pull them out to make sure they work before we put them on a shelf.”
Along with many new items, the store does have some antique items, mainly purchased in auctions. As customers walk in the front door to the business a vintage pedal firetruck toy greets them.
“I retired from the fire department here in town so I really like the firetruck,” Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet said during Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “That is a very cool piece.”
The Donaldsons purchased the property on Ohio Avenue approximately 15 years ago as a place to store equipment for another business venture, Donaldson Construction. Through the years they considered several ideas for the property before deciding to open the variety store.
“I think it’s going to do great,” Stacey Donaldson said. “I hope so.”
Ohio Avenue Variety Store is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays. The store opens at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and remains open as long as customers are stopping by.
“We stay open to 2, 3, whenever,” Stacey Donaldson said. “Saturday just varies.”
The business is closed on Sundays.
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