By: Paula Walter
Mountain City Antiques and Collectibles, located on Main Street in downtown Mountain City, recently took first place in the antique store category for east Tennessee in the 2016 Best of Tennessee Readers’ Choice Awards contest that was held by The Tennessee Magazine. Hundreds of both online votes and mail in ballots were received for categories that included the best food, best accommodations, shopping and events across the State of Tennessee.
The news came as a surprise to Barbara Coyne and Melissa Gentry, familiar faces at Mountain City Antique and Collectibles, as there had been no notification the store was chosen for the award. They received a congratulatory phone call from a local resident and several shoppers from out of the area stopped by just to check out the store to see what made it so unique. “They made a special trip,” said Coyne.
The store is owned by Karla Prudhomme, who first opened the store with her sister, Wendy Walker, approximately 20 years ago. The store is managed by Coyne, with assistance from Gentry, and her mother, Nancy. “We worked hard to keep it open during hard economic times,” said Prudhomme. “I spent a lot of years keeping it open and it’s nice something good has come out of it.”
There are approximately 14 vendors who rent space at Mountain City Antiques and Collectibles who offer a large variety of items for their customers. Some of the treasures that can be found are jewelry, Iron Mountain stoneware, musical instruments, both vintage and antique furniture, a large selection of books, Civil War items, record and quilts, knick knacks, paintings and family pictures, just to name a few of the many choices available to shoppers. There are several levels of the store building to explore and each turn brings a new discovery that leaves shoppers finding themselves roaming for hours. “We have new and used items,” Coyne stated. “If we don’t got it, you don’t need it,” Gentry piped in.
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