LOMA – “I’ve been in this business for 40 years and enjoyed it immensely”.
It was 87-year-old Mary Yona Cornell’s sister who got her hooked on antiques.
“The more she bought,” she recalled, “the more interested I got.”
That interest grew into a lifelong passion for searching and selling.
“I just decided well, maybe there’s something for me in this too, you know, so,” she said.
That’s when the Trash and Treasure shop was born.
And 40 years later, Mary Yona still opens her store each week, ready for anyone searching for their own treasure.
Over the past four decades, she’s built up a huge inventory that keeps customers curious and coming back.
“I know just about everything and I know just about the price of everything,” she said.
Mary Yona says she keeps certain customers in mind when looking for things to buy for her store. She’s bought everything from old school paper cutters to personal apparel and toys for kids.
“I pick up things they ask for, some come back and some never show up,” she said.
But, Mary Yona hasn’t picked up any new treasures lately.
She’s decided to let go of the four buildings that are filled with her life’s work.
“I’m a little old lady, and it’s just, the Lord is just telling me this, it’s time for you to slow down,” she said.
The future remains uncertain for the shop, but Mary Yona hopes someone who shares the same passion will take over her trove of treasures.
“Whatever happens; what the Lord has in store for me, I go from there,” she said.
The Trash and Treasure Shop was closed during April. Mary Yona says she’ll try to reopen in May to sell more inventory.
The shop is located at 104 4th Ave. and Hwy 87 in Loma. Mary Yona can be reached at (406)781-4245 or (406)739-4361.
Reporting by Keeley Van Middendorp for MTN News