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August 22, 2014

 

Homer antiques store relocates

homerBob Ellis/staff photographer
Evangeline “Cookie” Nikolakopoulos sits inside her antiques shop at 41 James St. in Homer.

By EMMETT NENO
Staff Reporter
eneno@cortlandstandard.net

HOMER — Evangeline “Cookie” Nikolakopoulos’ antiques have found a new home.
Now quartered in Main Street Antiques at 3 S. Main St., Nikolakopoulos’ wares have begun making the short trip to 41 James St.
Nikolakopoulos is grateful her new location will be on the first floor of a building in comparison to her current location, which sits above women’s apparel and fashion accessories business Bev & Co, she said.
“Second floor is very difficult to do business, especially with antiques,” Nikolakopoulos said, adding it is difficult carrying the furniture up and down the steps.
She plans to open the James Street property for business Tuesday, she said.
Her new location is the painted brick building across from the village police station.
The building is part of a 4.1 acre property formerly owned by German-based company Henkel Technologies Inc. and consists of two large warehouses, two process buildings measuring 5,000 square feet and 19,000 square feet, respectively, and additional office space.
Henkel Technologies made products for laundry and home care, cosmetics and toiletries, and adhesive technologies.
The company left the premises in 2008, and local businessmen Jerry Contento Jr. and Vincent Patriarco purchased the property in 2011.
The village Zoning Board of Appeals on May 29 granted a special use variance for the store since the site was zoned for industrial not retail use, and the village Planning Board approved Aug. 6 the site plan for the site. Patriarco previously declined to provide the name of the new tenant.
Nikolakopoulos said she had asked him to keep her identity confidential since she had a month by month lease with Renee Neiderman, who owned the building at 3 S. Main St., and she had nowhere to go if Neiderman had discovered the move and told her to leave in the meantime.
She began moving her antiques from her current location, which she has rented since Jan. 1, 2011, to the James Street property Aug. 11, Nikolakopoulos said.
She first started as a dealer with the business in 2004, when she sold mostly glass products, and she worked her way up until she began running the business January 2011, she said.
Nikolakopoulos will miss the atmosphere of her Main Street location since it is an old building, but her new location, unlike her previous one, has more space, air conditioning and a more efficient heating system, she said. She hopes the new location will help her pick up extra customers since it was difficult for seniors to climb the steps at her Main Street location, she said.
Nikolakopoulos is still arranging items in her new site and might change the placement of her wares multiple times in the coming weeks, but her special brand of hospitality will remain, she said.
She will continue to have coffee and water available for customers throughout the week and cake on the weekends, Nikolakopoulos said. She also intends to maintain high standards with the dealers who will be moving with her.
Nikolakopoulos will have two antiques dealers, two soap dealers, a mask dealer, and possibly a painted furniture dealer joining her in her new location, she said.
The dealers’ booths will be clean and free of mildewed products, Nikolakopoulos said, just as she specially picks out each item to sell.
“If you don’t keep it clean, you’re not going to make money,” she said.
Having been in the antiques business for some time, her favorite part about her work is searching for special items for customers, Nikolakopoulos said.
“You do go out there scouting and you find the piece and you make the customer so happy,” she said. “I just enjoy doing that.”
Town of Scott resident Teri Phelps said she and her husband, Russ, have been customers of Nikolakopoulos for about a year.
“We love her; she’s wonderful,” Phelps said, adding the couple would follow Nikolakopoulos wherever she took her business.
Her landlords said they are excited about the transition, too.
“We’re very pleased,” Contento said. “Whenever we can get an empty storefront re-filled, it helps the community.”

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