New Old Town shop offers stroll through memory lane

Longtime Ramona resident Debbie Roelle, Main Street’s newest merchant, opens her antiques and collectibles shop, The Mason Jar, today. Sentinel photos/Jessica King
Longtime Ramona resident Debbie Roelle, Main Street’s newest merchant, opens her antiques and collectibles shop, The Mason Jar, today. Sentinel photos/Jessica King

By Jessica King

A new storefront that pays homage to the past is scheduled to open on Main Street today.

The Mason Jar is an antique and collectibles store that owner Debbie Roelle says has been in the works for about five years. Thousands of items, from vintage toys and tools to jewelry and kitchenware, await customers in a 3,500-square-foot space at 652 Main St.

“It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever taken on in my life, but it’s so exciting,” said Roelle, 53.

In honor of its grand opening on July 4, The Mason Jar is offering a storewide discount throughout the month of July. Also, Roelle’s husband, Rick, a mining enthusiast, will be offering gold panning lessons at the grand opening and on the weekends.

Though The Mason Jar is Roelle’s first storefront, she has previously sold items out of rented space in antique malls in Ramona and Julian.

Her business expertise also extends to selling her vintage goods on eBay, and to Etsy.com, where she sells mostly furniture and glass items she has hand painted.

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The toy section greets customers at The Mason Jar as soon as they walk in the door. Sentinel photo/Jessica King

Roelle plans to continue her eBay and Etsy businesses out of The Mason Jar.

“I just decided to bring everything together,” she said. “Painting is my passion, which is why I’m going to still do it, but everything else is much more profitable.”

Bringing everything together has been a family affair all the way down to what to call the new storefront. Roelle and her four kids, ages 14 to 23, chose The Mason Jar moniker to convey a vintage, all-inclusive container kind of message — that is after she explained to her two youngest what a mason jar was, joked Roelle.

A resident of Ramona for the past 25 years, Roelle said she feels a sort of nervous excitement about owning a store, but the transition has been made easier by the community.

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Sentinel photo/Jessica King

“Everyone has been so supportive,” said Roelle of her fellow merchants. “I was unsure at first if they’d view me as competition and not like it, but that hasn’t been the case at all. They’ve been great, really great.”

The Mason Jar is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

   
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