Antiques store moves up a block

MARIETTA – The owners of H. Rietz & Co. Antiques are moving a block up Front Street and setting up shop in the former Sugden Book Store location.

Owners Dan and Shana Woodford had been looking for expanded space for their 13-year-old business for about a year, when they decided to check out the site of the book store in the 200 block of Front Street. It was headed for closure after more than eight decades in business due to the twin blows of the struggling economy and the rise in digital book sales.

“(We) just walked in, took a trip through and (I) knew it was mine,” Shana Woodford said.

The Woodfords had no complaints about their space at 165 Front St., where they’d been since moving the business from Lowell to Marietta in 2007, but simply needed more room.

Keith Malone, who owns the 282 Front St. building and owned Sugden with his wife Angela for more than three years, said earlier this year he expected the location might be used as office space given the influx of oil and natural gas activity in the area. But he said he was glad to see it stay retail, noting that other buildings he owns downtown have not remained that way.

“I think downtown we need a good mix,” Malone said.

It’s only been about a month-and-a-half since Sugden closed.

“That gave us time to put new flooring in and do some touch-ups,” Malone said.

H. Rietz opens at its new location Saturday, with refreshments, sales and maybe “a couple little surprises,” weather-permitting, Shana Woodford said.

Customers will have two floors of merchandise on which to shop, and the extra space gives Woodford a chance to expand some of the offerings – retro, gently used furniture, wreaths and cemetery pieces and costume jewelry.

“I’ve always had it but it’s just been a smaller version,” she said.

In addition to the extra space, the second-floor mezzanine and large windows immediately captured Woodford’s attention.

“The sun just pours in there,” she said.

As they looked for a new place, Woodford said it was important to the couple to keep their business in downtown Marietta.

“We love it, actually,” she said. “Being down here, there’s people all the time, there’s all kinds of events.”

The business opened in Lowell in 2000, named for Dan Woodford’s great-great-grandfather Henry Rietz, who owned a general store in the village.

Kelly Sauber, who owns the building Rietz is leaving, said he wishes the Woodfords the best and is trying to determine what to do next at 165 Front St. There are no definite plans, although he mentioned the idea of working with some vendors from the recently closed River City Antique Emporium on Second Street.