All through the weekend, stores along Niantic's Main Street will be setting up shop on the street for the . For most stores, this is something out of the ordinary but for Treasures Past to Present, it's been standard practice all summer long.
Each morning, store owner Josh Haderski sets up an alluring display of floppy hats and summer dresses that wave in the breeze. Inside, the small store is a treasure trove of collectibles. There's a vintage video game console in one corner, an antique chest of drawers in another, and the counter is adorned with jewelry displays.
If the store shows evidence of a woman's touch, that's because for more than 25 years it belonged to Haderski's grandmother, Jean. The store was open somewhat sporadically over the past year, Haderski said, as his grandmother's health began to fail. But when she died in June, he didn't want to see the family store close.
At first glance, 18-year-old Haderski seems an unlikely person to be running an antique store, especially one stuffed to the gills with items designed to appeal to women. It's certainly a big responsibility for someone who just graduated from Groton's Ella Grasso Technical High School. Still, it's not a big stretch for Haderski. He practically grew up in the store.
"I started a sports card collection in the back when I was nine," he said. "I was down here all the time anyway so they set me up with a counter."
Haderski said his father is helping him out with the bookkeeping for now, although he plans to take some business courses at Three Rivers Community College in the future. "They don't teach business at Ella Grasso," he said, adding that his focus was carpentry.
When it comes to running the store, however, Haderski has plenty of ideas. Currently, he's working through the inventory he inherited from his grandmother but he's doing his own buying now at auctions and estate sales and said he plans to focus more on antiques.
His passion for sports memorabilia and collectibles is also driving him to expand that department too. Sports collectibles have already spread from his original one counter to take over much of the back of the store. For Treasures Past to Present, then, it seems it's back to the future.