Growth Report 2: Mr. Darby’s Attributes Gains to Quality Vendors

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Mr. Darby’s Antique & Collectible Emporium reports a 26% increase in sales in 2023 compared with the previous year.

The online presence of the store at 8574 Market St. generated new customers who made the drive from as far as Texas to purchase items, according to co-owner Karen Neapolitan.

She attributes the sales increases to the improved quality of the vendors at Mr. Darby’s. The trend toward repurposing has also driven environmentally conscious customers to the store. 

The movie industry bought props for productions from Mr. Darby’s in 2022. Strikes by Hollywood writers and actors sharply decreased filming in 2023 but the store expects such sales to increase this year.

In the past, Mr. Darby’s has sold props for such movies at “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington; the Netflix series “Mind Hunter”; and Paramount’s “The Mayor of Kingstown.”

Mr. Darby’s has two annual fundraisers and has raised close to $75,000 for charities. 

Antique stores are not what they used to be, Neapolitan says, and Mr. Darby’s offers more than its name implies. In addition to antiques and collectibles, it offers home decor, furniture, sports memorabilia, toys, and even 185 flavors of soda pop and retro candy. 

The store, founded in 2012 in North Lima, moved to Boardman in 2016 where sales increased by 62% in the first few months. The store employs seven and plans to hire more this year.

More than 85 vendors rent space in the store to sell their own wares. The store’s website offers more than 10,000 items for sale that are not in the store.

Pictured at top: Karen and Robert Neapolitan own Mr. Darby’s Antique & Collectible Emporium.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.