Martinez siblings start second career with consignment business

 

Retirement wasn’t in the cards for siblings Ben Hunter and Beverly Taylor after they left their jobs last summer.

After working 35 years at Pepperidge Farm, Hunter decided it was time for something new.

His younger sister, a kindergarten teacher for 28 years in Richmond and Co­lum­bia counties, was looking at making a move out of the classroom.

They retired within two weeks of each other in May. In November, they opened Bargain Hunters An­tiques and Consignments at 1254 Augusta West Park­way.

Not ones to sit idly, Hunter and Taylor had jumped at the chance to start a second career. The family-owned, 30,000-square-foot building had been empty for two years after Bassett Furniture closed.

“Beverly and I were looking for a reason to quit our current jobs and do something completely different,” Hunter said. “It was a golden opportunity for us to do something.”

The store sells consignment items but also offers vendor space.

Consignment pieces such as furniture and home décor sit alongside vendor products such as purses, jewelry, children’s clothing, interior decorations, crafts and art.

Taylor said they have brought in 58 vendors and 67 consigners. Within a month, Embers Grille will add a cafe in the store, serving sandwiches, soup, salads and desserts.

Although they opened their business in No­vem­ber, they will hold an official grand opening Jan. 26.

For Taylor, whose last teaching assignment was at River Ridge Elementary School, the hours have been the toughest adjustment.

“It’s been a little bit harder for me because I’m used to holidays and five days a week,” she said.

Hunter, on the other hand, enjoys a later start time, even if the hours are longer.

“It’s great not having to set your alarm,” he said.

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