Trading is in Nikki Meyer’s blood.
Meyer’s parents once owned an antique store west of Princeton. Now she and her husband, Greg, have opened a shop stocking a lot of antiques located between Cambridge and Princeton on Highway 95.
The Rustic Depot, the Meyers’ store, is located at 5690 Highway 95, next to Lucky 7 Bear Bait. Although Nikki Meyer’s lifelong love of the antique trade is a big part of what led to the Rustic Depot, she prefers to call the business a general store. In addition to antiques, it carries new and vintage gardening goods, essential oils, ice cream, exotic beef jerkies, cheeses and more.
The Meyers will be operating the Rustic Depot with the help of two children, two grandchildren and a son-in-law.
“It’s a family business,” Meyer said. “I wanted to do something for my kids and grandkids to leave some sort of a legacy for them.”
A 1986 St. Cloud Times article about Meyers’ parents’ store, Bargains Unlimited, illustrates the way trading can become a lifestyle.
“Floyd and Jo Anne Johnson (Nikki Meyer’s parents) held a garage sale 10 years ago. That sale is still going on,” the article begins. Meyer has a framed clipping of the article hanging behind the counter in the Rustic Depot.
“‘The problem with this business is that you become a junkie,’” Meyer’s mother, Jo Anne Johnson, is quoted saying further down the page.
It’s maybe no surprise Nikki Meyer would open up a place like the Rustic Depot, but her husband Greg is from the city; she initiated him into the world of wheeling and dealing antiques years before they bought their own store.
“We did some flea markets,” Meyer said, “and then we had the bug.”
Nikki and Greg would rent booths at flea markets and sell what they had. Then they would go out picking and buy truckloads more from farms and the like. Meyer said her son-in-law used to know which truck in town was hers just by the quantities of freshly picked junk in the back.
“I like primitive and rusty,” Meyer said of her preference in antiques. Husband Greg is into yard art and farm implements.
“It’s like a scavenger hunt,” Meyer said of looking for that perfect old piece.
Meyer believes the location along 95 is will be good for their business.
The Meyers spent a year and a half trying to buy the property on which they’ve opened the Rustic Depot and sell their old home. Nikki and
Greg both have full-time jobs outside of the store. The Rustic Depot’s business property came with a home on the land, which was exactly what they wanted.
“We really think it was a ‘God’ thing,” Meyer said. “We could move here and we wanted to keep our other jobs.”
Meyer previously owned a hair salon and says she likes new challenges.
She has further ambitions for the general store in the future, including opening up a shack on the property with more items stocked in it as an expansion of the business, gathering some animals to create a sort of petting zoo and eventually getting the place set up to host themed children’s parties. Meyer said there is no goal timeline for these additions, and any others she and her family think of; they will be added as they become possible and as time allows.
“You need to really diversify,” Meyer said, in order to succeed.
For more information on the Rustic Depot, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/therusticdepot, or call 763-389-5027. The Rustic Depot is open Thursday through Sunday.