It all began in the 70s in Fairport, New York, almost two scores ago, when my brother and
I collected sports cards (mostly baseball and football) and traded with our friends. We
placed the cards carefully in plastic pouches (putting the cards in the spokes of a bicycle
wheel was a major taboo) to maintain their condition.
During this time, I had an operation and had to stay overnight in the hospital. I brought my sports cards with me in shoeboxes and kept them on the bed with me at all times. I remember waking up in the wee hours of the morning to find the cards on the floor. The nurse saw me trying to get up to retrieve them and yelled to get back in bed. I plotted then and there to stay up until she left to rescue my valuable cards, even risking additional painful needle shots as retaliation!
As my brother and I got older we eventually lost interest in our collections, and somewhere along the way the cards were misplaced in my parents' basement, or in my brother's house, or maybe they evaporated into thin air.
I graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a BA in Accounting and then from SUNY Buffalo with an MBA in Finance and Marketing. During interviews on campus I swore up and down that I would never work in New York City. However, I only received one offer and it was for a job in New York City...so I packed my bags! And I ended up loving the Big Apple.
My Dad, Bill Guche, creator of the largest and greatest antique mall in New York State, approached his kids about taking over the business in a matter of years. No one bit. I began my career as an auditor at Berdon LP for four years and ended at UBS in 2012 as the Americas Controller in the Finance Department in the Investment Bank. At the time I was enjoying the tri-state life and was being promoted up the ranks at UBS. No way did I want to get involved in antiques—old and boring, I thought. I'd never do it.
I was getting a little burned out at UBS and my Dad approached me again. I checked out this mall in Farmington—and all I could say was, "wow!" So many items to choose from! Where had I purchased that expensive furniture for my little condo in Stamford? Obviously not here, where I could have received real wood furniture that would have lasted much longer than particleboard—and for less money! And, oh, those sports card collections! We packed our bags and returned to my hometown—and I love it!
Ontario Mall Antiques and Salamanca Mall Antiques enjoy a great relationship, and have right
from the beginning. Now the torch has been handed down, to me for Ontario Mall Antiques and
to Demitri Kolokouris for Salamanca Mall Antiques. You might see us at Jay's Diner in
Henrietta poring over ideas and strategies for our conquest of the antiques world—or the
world itself!—as we enjoy our low-carb (Demitri) and low-fat (me) meals.
Yes, we're nerds. We love coming up with new ideas and new ways to improve our malls and to make them the absolute best they can be for our customers, our dealers and our staff.
Thanks for reading,