By Terey DeLisle
Anyone who visited downtown Trenton this summer likely saw the work being done to the former Riverside Wedding Chapel at West Jefferson Avenue and Harrison Road. All of that hard work led to an Aug. 15 opening of The Riverside Treasure Shoppe, owned and operated by Renae and Brian Raboczkay of Taylor.
The Victorian home, which is over 100 years old, had been vacant for two years and needed a lot of work, including structural, plumbing and electrical renovation. The Raboczkay’s paid for and completed all the indoor repairs and renovations themselves, and the building now boasts a beautiful mosaic tile foyer, hardwood floor, and new staircases, along with a completely restored exterior.
The Riverside Treasure Shoppe is beautiful to look at, and the wonderful aroma welcomes you in. With gourmet chocolates (including delicacies like pumpkin bark and key lime truffles), coffees from Café Britt of Costa Rica brewing (sold by the bag and the cup,) and scented candles, the fragrances combine into a most inviting bouquet.
The shop also offers a wide variety of gift baskets, jewelry, snacks, and ice cream novelties. There is truly something for everyone. Locally-made products include Doodles Sugar Bush jams and syrups from Blanchard, Mich., and honey from Windmill Hills Farm in Port Huron. There is a section of old-fashioned candies with goodies you will remember from your childhood, and a children’s area offers many locally-made and unique toys and books.
Upstairs, you will find an art gallery featuring work by local artists, including paintings, photography, jewelry, wood carvings and pottery that are sold on consignment. Brian himself is an artist, which inspired him to want to showcase local talent.
“We have a lot of really talented artists bringing their work here,” Brian said. “I am always looking for more, and would like to add more pottery work especially.”
Renae, who previously worked for the airline industry, and Brian, retired from the City of Taylor, didn’t set out to open a gift shop, but fell in love with the building and the neighborhood, and decided to make an offer. “Trenton is poised to have a great downtown again, and we wanted to be a part of it. It’s a safe, family-oriented place. We think the items we have here fit the personality of the building and the downtown area.”
Plans are in the works for an official grand opening and ribbon cutting, where they couple hopes to meet the mayor and other city officials. The Roboczkays also were excited to be a part of the Scarecrow Festival.
Working with the city of Trenton was overall a positive experience, they report. “The one area that the city didn’t cooperate with was to expand the parking,” says Renae. “We offered to pay for it ourselves, but they wouldn’t budge.” There is limited parking in front of the store and surrounding streets.
The couple hopes to make the Treasure Shoppe a downtown fixture for years to come. They plan to continue to present more local, made-in-Michigan products, adding to the revitalization of our downtown, and helping to make Trenton a destination once again.
The Riverside Treasure Shoppe is located at 2305 West Jefferson in Trenton. It is open Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays 12-6 p.m. Contact the store by phone at (734) 672-7521 or via the Internet at www.riversidetreasureshoppe.com. The shop also can be found on Facebook.