Tommy's Secondhand Goodies has a little bit of everything: electronics, DVD's, clothes and housewares. They even have a mascot. Shadow, a black lab that belongs to owner Thomas August, is the welcoming committee for visitors to the store.
The store held its grand opening on Wednesday. Members of the Downtown Dover Partnership, local merchants and Dover Mayor Carleton E. Carey were on hand to stand with August as he cut the ribbon for the new store. This Tommy's location is one of two. The other store is located in Sudlersville, Md.
"It's been a long journey getting here," August said. "It has taken two years to get both stores going. We called about this place in March. Then we had to do the demolition. There were originally three rooms here and we opened them up to make one."
His storefront may be new to the area but August isn't. He grew up right in Smyrna. He's had a few different businesses here and there over the years. He ran a construction business and a "rubbish clean-up business."
It was while he was cleaning out foreclosed homes that August started to pick up inventory. Even before he had a storefront August was selling secondhand goods in the area.
"We have a regular table at Spence's and one at Bargain Bill's in Laurel," he said. "It's like having four stores together."
August gets his inventory in a variety of ways. He goes to auctions, storage unit auctions, yard sales, he cleans out estates and he takes donations. He even has a few people who work as suppliers.
"They call me once they've collected a trailer load of stuff and we buy it for rock bottom prices," he said.
August also treasure hunts for customers.
"I have a guy that collects anything presidential," he said. "When we're out searching if we find anything presidential we get it and he buys it from us."
August may have just opened the doors on his second shop but he's already got his eye on the future. He is currently working on opening a bargain outlet store
So far, August has been enjoying being in downtown Dover.
"I love Dover because of the downtown," he said. "There are lots of people walking around. I love the location. The old building is great; it has lots of character."
Downtown Dover is just as excited to have Tommie's as August is to be there.
"It's great so see young people loving in and starting businesses," said Louis Colon, executive director of the Downtown Dover Partnership. "Everything old is new again. This waxes nostalgic for me. I see stuff in here that I grew up with. Weekend hunter will find themselves happy in here."
Page 2 of 2 - City of Dover Mayor, Carleton E. Carey approves of the new addition to downtown as well.
"I think it's great. I think it brings a different type of venue for people to buy used inventory," he said. "If people can't afford to buy something new, they can come here and buy something used."