ROCKLAND — A spate of new businesses are opening up all around the Midcoast this spring, following a tumultuous year for shops and stores struggling during the pandemic. One of the newest is a curated vintage shop owned by David Robichaud called Ollie and David’s—with Ollie as a tribute to his dog, an English Springer Spaniel.
It is located on the first floor of the Thorndike building at 385 Main Street, once the great Thorndike Hotel. This overlooked building is often thought to host only residents, but the entire first floor is a multi-use mini business district. The back deck adjacent to Ollie and David’s is a welcoming spot, which will soon have seating and plantings this spring.
When Robichaud first moved to Maine in 1984, he opened 51 Bayview Street in Camden, a high-end home interior business. Much later, during the 2010s, he ran Summersport Mercantile in South Thomaston.
“My other stores have been a little more formal, more dressy home interiors,” he said. “This store has more home and garden decor of vintage and repurposed items in the factory-farm style.”
Having lived in Appleton has influenced his aesthetic.
“The things I collect now are more rural, more rustic,” he said. “It’s a farm community out there, so I’ve raided my neighbor’s barns for certain creations.”
Inside the shop, one might find quirky, upcycled furniture such as a coffee table made from the base of an old, enameled cookstove with a granite top or steampunk lamps made from plumber’s pipe and chicken feeder tops for shades. Many items are one-of-a-kind, from vintage pieces and artist-made. Clearly, these are not items one will find massed-produced; they’re original utilitarian objects and tools once used in everyday life.
Like so many people who debated about opening up a shop in a pandemic, Robichaud weighed the pros and cons.
“I woke up one night and just decided to do it,” he said. “This kind of shop is what I know best.”
“So many of the things in here are from my own personal collection that I’ve had in storage from various businesses I’ve owned,” he said. “The shop is a combination of all kinds of design things I do from floral design to interior design, from landscape design to space planning. It also has a bit of a modernistic feel to it as well. In the back of the store in the garden section, there are all of these used buckets and pails and trays for planting, which I’ll show people how to use in their gardens.”
Ollie & David’s store hours and photos can be found on Instagram.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org