Tonawanda News — Vanessa Fineberg laughs and calls it "a great big mix of food and old stuff," officially dubbed Sweets & Antiques in the Town of Tonawanda.
There's a story behind each piece in her carefully curated collection of unique and vintage furniture — all of it for sale at her new store at 217 Highland Parkway.
"I have this flair for anything unique — anything old," Fineberg, who opened the shop two months ago, said.
Her showroom features retro innovations successfully casting a bowling ball and elk horns as a centerpiece, for example, and interspersed with carefully placed literature like the unofficial biography of Tom Selleck or "Amy Vanderbilt's Everyday Etiquette."
While some items are vintage, others are custom made — including the wrought iron table and chairs crafted by a policeman from Clarence whose real passion is furniture making.
All is functional, restored if necessary, and guaranteed to catch the eye.
Such an eclectic range — emphasizing art deco, oriental and mid-century motifs — is capable of suiting the tastes of an equally wide-ranging clientele, one that Fineberg said includes everyone from empty-nesters looking to re-decorate to first-time home buyers adding character to their rooms.
Less common than her collectables, however, may be the business model for Sweets & Antiques, where local pastries and cookies will soon be made available to guests to enjoy while seated at the very furniture that's for sale.
"You can try it out," she said. "If you like it, you can buy it."
Once the final touches are in place, customers will be munching hungarian cookies, sweets from a handful of local Italian bakeries and Polish pastries from Chrusciki's of Lancaster at the custom glass-top table on the showroom floor, or sidled up to the charming end table near the door.