Most people have driven down Monroe Avenue and seen the old building on the south side of the street called “The Old Store.” What most people might not know is that building is the oldest commercial brick structure in Piedmont.
Dennis and Janice Mills acquired the building from Wiedemann and Son in 1999. Their daughters, Heather Giggers and Janice Leach, are now in charge of the day-to-day operations of The Old Store, which has become one of Piedmont’s most well known establishments.
What makes this building so special?
The building was originally opened in 1907 by Mulvey Mercantile. It was then sold to Wiedemann and Son in 1926. The building housed the Wiedemann and Son store until the 1970s and was owned by Wiedemann and Son until 1999. “It was being used as family storage and even a gun range,” Leach said. “This whole block has been a number of things; including a post office, a morgue, and the basement used to host a lot of parties.” Visitors can still see the original signs for both Mulvey Mercantile and Wiedemann and Son in the store today.
What happened when your mom and dad took over the building in 1999?
“Our dad’s, Dennis, automotive business had been in seven different locations and he really wanted a permanent place,” Leach said. “He moved into the garage in the back, and our mom set up her embroidery shop.”
Now, The Old Store houses a large antique and consignment store and Embroidery by Janice. The embroidery shop has grown from two machines to seven commercial machines. “We have a lot of pre-made items, but we can do custom embroidery for just about anything,” Leach said. Urban Illusion Salon, which is owned by Mandy Wilson, has been located next door for about a year.
What does The Old Store bring to the Piedmont community?
Just walking around The Old Store will give visitors a glimpse of times long gone. “We really try to keep it original in the store. During the summer we bring out the old giant fans to keep the place cool and in the winter we turn on the big heater. We think it really adds to the atmosphere of the store,” Leach said.
“The store is a great place to just browse, listen to the stories some of the customers tell, and find some really good deals on antique furniture,” Leach said.
“If you have never been inside The Old Store, you should come check it out,” Giggers added.
The Old Store is located at 100 Monroe Avenue NW in Piedmont. They are open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.