Since I was a teenager, I've had an affinity towards thrift and antique stores and I guess I could blame my mother for that – since it's where she schlepped me, my brother and sister to, while growing up in Oakland.
Fast forward several decades later and it's still a part of my lifestyle – visiting thrift and antique stores – only now my home is filled with treasures I've curated over the years. And so much so, it seems every person who walks through my front door, will literally stop in their tracks with jaws dropped to the floor in awe.
I've had some friends suggest I charge an entry fee just to walk through my 950-square foot home, as if it were a museum of some sort.
While my brother calls it “organized hoarding” and for the record, everyone disagrees with his assessment, it all brings me to this blog, in which everyone (except my brother) asks me where I have scored all these treasures. And let me also add, “all these treasures” are items which brings me joy and happiness every day.
So here it is ... a comprehensive list of where I find local – and not-so-local – haunts with treasures to not only decorate my home with, but perhaps, to put some items in storage, so I can rotate between seasons or just when I feel the urge to move things around the house – which happens to be quite often.
If you live in Far East Contra Costa County, then there's one of my fave stores (and who am I kidding, they're ALL my fave stores!) Willow Park Mercantile (formerly known as G St. Mercantile), located at 205 G St. in Antioch. I have purchased two fireplace mantels, which I placed against blank walls in one of the bedrooms – so no real fireplaces behind them, but when you look at them, all dressed up with décor, you get the feeling they are actual, real fireplaces! This store is huge, with an upstairs section and it carries everything from vintage relics to new (not vintage) decorative faux flowers that look so real and beautiful. Faux flowers today are nowhere near the same as the plastic flowers from the 80s.
Just one block down from this store, is Rivertown Treasure Chest, at 306 G St., and while it’s a little smaller, it still packs a punch when it comes to a wide variety of treasures, many of which are not as antique. This store with the friendliest of staff ever, caters more to the 80s collector, but is still stocked with vintage collectibles. This store also offers various discounts from their vendors – which I love.
In Oakley, you'll find Rancho Co-Op at 5685 Main St., and just down the road is Brentwood, you’ll find Antique Co-Op at 6675 Brentwood Blvd. and Pink Door Boutique & Vintage Store at 735 2nd St. I adore all three of these stores and have shopped there for so many years. Rancho Co-Op used to be called Rancho Furniture Store owned by Barbara Guise, who sold my then husband and I a bedroom set. She gave us a pair of matching lamps for free and I'll never forget her kindness. She later opened the Health Hut store in Brentwood and recently retired and sold her store in 2019 – but now I'm getting off-topic!
Next stop – if you plan to make a day of this – is Discovery Bay where owner Pam Fitzgerald has her French Paris No. 5 store at 1555 Riverlake Dr, next to Mountain Mike's Pizza (Pam is also an interior designer!) and Vikki Graham has her Not-Too-Shabby Vintage Home & Garden store. The women-owned stores are in the same Discovery Bay Shopping Center and both have amazing finds. I've purchased so many treasures from both.
No onto Martinez, where you'll find Le Marche Emporium, located on 516 Ferry St., this place will have you lost for hours with the amount of square footage they have and goodies you'll find. There's even an upstairs, but make sure you're in shape, because if not, you'll be out of breath by the time you reach the top!
Since my list of places to find collectibles could fill a book, I'm going to list the rest of them simply by name and address – otherwise, we will be here all day! The list below, which is in alphabetical order, are stores I've visited repeatedly – it's something that brings me joy – and it's somewhat educational as well, like visiting museums – only the items have price tags on them and you can take them home if you buy them!
- Alicia's Antiques - 24 W Locust St., Lodi
- American Trading Post - 37581 Niles Blvd., Fremont,
- Antique Corner - 500 Ferry St., Martinez
- Blue Door Antiques - 321 North L St., Livermore
- Cordelia Junction Antique Mall - 4560 Central Way, Fairfield
- Delta Pharmacy - 407 Main St., Rio Vista
- Devine Home & Garden - 5 N School St, Lodi
- Memory Lane - 37565 Niles Blvd., Fremont
- New & Again Consignment Furniture Gallery & Estate Sales - 210 S School St., Lodi
- Niles Antique Co-Op - 37759 Niles Blvd., Fremont
- Robin's Nest Thrift - 295 N Front St., Rio Vista
- Secondhand Rose - 14 N School St., Lodi
- Suisun Valley Antiques & Collectibles - 2525 Mankas Corner Rd., Fairfield
- The Antique Warehouse - 5301 Pirrone Rd., Salida
- Vintage Rose of Walnut Creek - 2670 N Main St.
- Walnut Creek Mercantile - 1539 Third Ave., Unit A
Almost all these antique stores are made up of several vendors/independent sellers, some stores having over 20 sellers, who rent space from the owner to sell their treasures. What's great about this is that each month, each seller brings in new (mostly vintage!) items for their booth/space, so visiting these stores are fun, because there's something different each time you go!
I also find treasures in the local Goodwill Store and Donation Centers and The Salvation Army Thrift Stores and hugely discounted prices – so don't be afraid to pop into those stores as well. These stores may not have a lot of vintage items, but they're great for kitchen items and even clothes. And another unique and fun place to find décor items are all the ACE Hardware stores – there's usually one in every town, where private sellers and possibly locals, will have wonderful items for sale. The best ACE Mountain Hardware & Sports store I've ever found to date, is the one located in Tahoe, which, is quite the drive, but if you happen to be in town, check it out, it's located at 11320 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee. You will not be disappointed.
One more place I find vintage treasures for my home and gifts for family and friends is on Facebook Marketplace. This could take me all over the place, from Oakland to Sacramento – so if the item is worth it – don't forget to factor in the gas and travel time – then I say go for it!
From here on out – I wish you happy hunting!