Businesses Remain Open During Water and Sewer Project
ROCHESTER — The dollar bill that sits in a distressed wooden frame behind the cash register serves as a reminder of how far Brian and Felicia LaBranche’s business has come in 11 years.
Trinkets and Treasures earned that first dollar on May 1, 2006, and in the years since has survived — and thrived — despite obstacles well beyond its owners’ control.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, the store expanded from its downtown location to a standalone store on Milton Road in 2008. Then the LaBranches bought the red building that houses their store, expanding to fill all of the building’s 5,000 square feet with vintage artifacts and antique furniture.
Lately, though, business has slowed as residents and visitors steer clear of the area around Trinkets and Treasures due to ongoing construction that has impacted traffic.
“In the long term, it’s good for the city and it’s good for us, but in the short term it’s been a bit of a squeeze,” Felicia LaBranche said. “Still, though, we have a lot of loyal customers who will get here no matter what, and we’re grateful for that.”
According to the store’s owners, they’re prepared to accommodate customers who are hesitant to travel through the area multiple times while the work is ongoing. They’ve made sales over the phone to passersby who spotted items in the store’s window, and they offer free delivery within the Rochester city limits–especially on bigger items like the sofas and bureaus.
Traffic flow has improved on Milton Road, though Salmon Falls Road remains under construction. The project, once done, will expand the city’s sewer system capacity and greatly improve the city’s water distribution system.
In an effort to help the store, the city has placed signs nearby reassuring drivers that Trinkets and Treasures and its neighboring merchants remain open for business.
“We do our best to be responsive to the needs of all businesses in town and minimize the impact of circumstances beyond their control,” Rochester Economic Development Specialist Jennifer Marsh said. “Stores like Trinkets and Treasures are a part of the fabric of our community, and it’s the kind of success story that we want to continue supporting.”
The LaBranches’ store — a two-story maze walled by throwback campaign buttons, antique china, rare collectibles and sports memorabilia — has survived challenges before, and they expect it will thrive again so long as the customers they’ve grown so fond of continue to offer their support.
“Gratitude has served us well,” Felicia said. “We’re grateful for our loyal customers who are here regularly, and for the support the community as a whole has shown us over all of these years.”