One’s Memory is Another’s Treasure at Struthers Marketplace

STRUTHERS, Ohio — Although the flooring and walls are updated, walking into the Struthers Marketplace sends shoppers back to their childhood.

Whether it’s looking at the ceramic cookie jar and spice set they remember from grandma’s, or Christmas decorations, or even games played at school and family reunions, it’s a step back in time surrounded by “treasures.”

That nostalgic feeling is what Debbie Danyi had in mind when she set out to open the store. Shelves adorned with items comprise the 400-square-foot space, all neatly organized by category. “I love it when an item brings back a special memory,” Danyi says. 

“It’s always been in the back of my head, and we’ve joked about it here and there,” she says, referring to husband Joe Danyi. Selling online, Danyi moved the inventory to the front of Joe’s office space at 602 Youngstown-Poland Road. “It all came together pretty quickly,” she says.

She estimates that it’s been a $10,000 investment in startup costs. 

Collecting runs in Danyi’s blood.

“I have been collecting since I was a little girl, starting when my dad would take me ‘treasure hunting,’” she says.

Always on the lookout for Wade Whimsies in Red Rose Tea figurines, and toys, Danyi says her father would take her everywhere, scouting antique stores, flea markets and garage sales looking for treasure. “Now, I just want to share that joy with others,” she says.

Danyi, a kindergarten teacher at Struthers Elementary, was fully supported by Joe, owner and operator of Youngstown Computer LLC.

“It’s my favorite,” he says. “To help my wife get something going and have my son be involved is amazing.” 

Joe and Debbie Danyi

The Danyis’ son Ryan will run an after-school virtual reality environment in the back office space of Struthers Marketplace. He’ll also be selling his own collection of vintage Pokemon cards.

“We all get to do business together. It’s great,” Joe Danyi says.

Debbie Danyi isn’t receiving support just from her family. Since launching the Facebook page for the store, Danyi amassed more than 400 followers in the first five days. Within several days she had a flood of messages ranging from questions about the business to support. Some 100 RSVPd for the grand opening on Jan. 29.

“I think the community is ready to support another small business,” Danyi says.

She researches prices for each piece and set, moderately pricing everything. “I use the internet as a tool to look up prices,” she says. “It’s not the highest end but it’s not the lowest.” She leaves a margin for other collectors and treasure-hunters to resell items and still make a profit.

Danyi is hopeful to attract interior designers and she’s considering consignment on an item-by-item basis.

“I’m so excited for my treasures to find a new home with somebody else who’s going to treasure them and love them,” Danyi says. 

Struthers Marketplace is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pictured at top: Debbie Danyi is owner and operator of Struthers Marketplace at 602 Youngstown-Poland Road.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.