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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

Find hidden treasures at Bernie’s Antiques

Kristin Guglietti/THG Bernie Pezzuto, owner of Bernie’s Antiques & Artifacts, stands behind the counter at 18 Central Ave.

Bernie Pezzuto opened Bernie’s Antiques & Artifacts last December at 18 Central Ave. in downtown Hammonton.

The store previously used to be another antique shop called JH Antique Mall, owned by James “Jim” Holmes, but after the owner died, Pezzuto took over the store.

Holmes died on Jan. 18, 2022. He was 84.

“Mr. Holmes died and it was a no brainer to just stay and carry on and make it work,” Pezzuto said.

JH Antique Mall used to be in Mullica Hill and then it moved to 3134 S. White Horse Pike. The store stayed at the White Horse Pike location for six years and then moved to its current location at 18 Central Ave. in 2020.

“When Jim [Holmes] moved to Hammonton because he was in Mullica Hill, it was closer to home for him and there was an available building and then that building wasn’t available anymore and that’s when I had started with him in 2020 and then we moved to town here.

The space was available it must’ve been meant to be, so we moved in,” Pezzuto said.

Since 2020, Pezzuto has worked at JH Antique Mall as a salesperson and vendor. Previously, she was a hairstylist for 45 years. Now, she is the owner of Bernie’s Antiques & Artifacts.

“It’s nice because people are always happy and looking for certain items and everything. It’s fun because you still get to meet people. You hear their stories. It’s almost similar to hairdressing where I’m talking to people,” Pezzuto said.

There is new inventory weekly and a variety of antiques.

“Antiques from glass to furniture to bar stuff to video games… Lamps, pictures, artwork, jewelry, homemade benches that were made from beds and clothes. We have some vintage clothes. A little bit of everything,” Pezzuto said.

Pezzuto said the store sold a pie safe that was over 100 years old.

She even sold her mom-mom’s hair that was in a shadow box.

“It was a braid, and it actually was up there [points at large picture] that’s my mom-mom, the picture and that was probably about maybe when her hair got cut off,” Pezzuto said.

A lot of customers also enjoy buying books.

“We have lot of really old books that sold like 1800s, some from the 1700s. People love books,” Pezzuto said.

There are currently 13 vendors, which includes Pezzuto and her husband, Joe.

To become a vendor, people have to ask Pezzuto if the store has space, sign a lease and make sure everything is tagged with their initials and price.

“There are tax numbers that they need to have too, and then they’re responsible for maintaining and bringing in and keeping new items in their cases or their spaces,” Pezzuto said.

Pezzuto said she can always make space for new vendors.

As a lifelong Hammonton resident, Pezzuto said it’s easy for her to commute to the store.

“I was born and raised here, so it’s easy for me and it’s nice because I’m really close to home,” Pezzuto said.

For more information about Bernie’s Antiques & Artifacts, call (609) 561-1110 and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @berniesantiques.


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