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  • Writer's pictureClarice MacGarvey

One of Main Street's Oldest Retailers Stays in Step with Changing Times: Exmore Antique Emporium

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Now in their 23rd year running the Exmore Antique Emporium, Mary (Moggie) and Barry Marsh continue to adapt to changing times and shifts in the marketplace. With more than ten individual dealers under one spacious roof, the Emporium, located at 3304 Main Street, is always filled with the variety and intriguing selections you'd expect in a "super store." There's something for almost every taste and interest at value prices, from gleaming dining tables to estate jewelry. Customers, including dealers, from all up and down the East Coast and as far away as California return again and again to this eclectic shop on Main Street.

Although high-quality, beautifully crafted antiques and vintage furnishings are always in demand, when the business first opened, glassware was the bestselling category. That's changed with collectibles gaining top spot today. Staying in synch with what customers want is one key to Moggie and Barry's sucess. The other is their marketing savvy. They consistently invest in brochures, rack cards and other forms of advertising and recently placed a billboard for the Emporium on the southbound side of busy Lankford Highway (Route 13). According to Barry, that high-visibility signage tripled their business.

Partners in life as well as in business, Moggie and Barry have been married for 55 years. They grew up together. Moggie is from Exmore and Barry is a native of Nassawadox. After Barry retired from Navy duty in Dam Neck, they partnered with Dave Scanlon and Al Eagen to enter the antique resale business in Exmore. The original store had 5,500 square feet of floor space and incorporated an adjacent store front.

Avid enthusiasts of heirloom pieces, Moggie and Barry use wonderful old fixtures to furnish their store, including a display case that once served as a counter at Ballard's in Willis Wharf. Now, the Emporium is carving its own place in the history of Exmore while satisfying generation after generation with ever-changing inventory. In fact, the Emporium has so many great items that one Yelp reviewer commented, "You could get lost with all the stuff".

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