Urbana antique store closing, holding retirement sale through end of month

Oxner's General Store in Urbana closed on Jan. 1. Contributed

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Oxner's General Store in Urbana closed on Jan. 1. Contributed

An antique store in Urbana is closing as the owner and his wife are retiring.

Oxner’s General Store in downtown Urbana closed on Jan. 1. The store offered antiques, collectibles, specialties, and other handmade items.

Owner Mike Manoloff and his wife, Mary, have owned the store for about five years. They are having a retirement sale, working to sell everything in the store, for about two more weeks through the end of the month.

They two said they are very excited to retire, but will miss it.

“When we told everybody we were closing, I mentioned that the thing that made us rich was the people that we met. That’s been the most satisfying thing both my wife and I can say about our business is we have met beautiful people. We have made lots of wonderful acquaintances and many good friends, which we’d never had. I think we’ve been very blessed with the people that we’ve met in our five years,” Manoloff said.

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Manoloff said he owned the store and his wife did all of the accounting.

“She’s just incredible. She’s amazing. I couldn’t have done it without Mary’s efforts,” he said.

Manoloff said they started with four vendors when he bought the store and ended with 21 vendors. He said the vendors rented a spot at the store and sold their own items.

A year into owning the business, Manoloff said Urbana officials tore up the downtown streets to put in new pipes, which took them almost a year.

“We couldn’t do much business when the tape was up and they were working in front of the business... That’s 11 months of the five years just the streets being worked on. Then COVID-19 hit,” he said. “We bounced back from that with the support of our dealers who understood the mess. They supported us completely and I’ll never forget that. If wasn’t for their compassion, we’d had been in trouble.”

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Manoloff said before he became the owner, he was an antique dealer in the store and rented a space. He said the person who owned the former hardware store before him was retiring, so he bought the business and changed the name.

As for the future of the space, Manoloff said the store is not going out of business as he sold it to some other people. He said he isn’t too sure what the new owner will do with the business, but he will be an antique dealer in the store like he was before he owned it.

“I’m going to miss it. I already feel a little, like I lost somebody. Like I lost a big part of my life because I put everything into in the last five years. I’m excited, but then again, it’s like wow, it’s over,” he said.

Manoloff said he and his wife plan on doing some traveling and he plans to spend a lot of time building things and staining glass, which he said he loves to do.

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