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Bast furniture store closes its doors for good

June 01, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Douglas Bast, owner of Bast of Boonsboro Furniture Store, shows the original sign that hung over the original building. He is also showing an assortment of tools that were used when business first began.
Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — After a successful going-out-of-business sale, the 174-year-old Bast of Boonsboro furniture store closed its showroom Friday, owner Douglas Bast said.

The store continues to deliver orders as the items come in, but so much of its inventory has been sold that it no longer makes sense to keep the store open, he said.

“What happens is folks say, ‘We came up this full distance, and you don’t have anything left to buy,’” Bast said.

A few remaining items will be displayed in the storefront window with a phone number for interested buyers to contact, he said.

The business, at 109 N. Main St., was founded by John Christian Brining in 1837 as a cabinetmaker’s shop that also sold coffins. Bast said he believes it to be the oldest continually-operating furniture store inMaryland.

Bast has said the economy and changing culture contributed to his decision to retire and close the store.

He said the closing sale, which began April 29, has been busy and emotion-filled.

“There were some emotional moments with not only our customers, but with us, too, because the ladies that were in there selling knew the end was near,” Bast said.

He said he received many notes in the mail expressing unhappiness that the store was closing, yet appreciation for how the closure was being handled.

One woman sent in photographs of furniture she bought from Bast with questions about brands, finishes and dates, he said.

“It was interesting that people really got involved in it,” he said.

Bast said he was surprised that the store sold its remaining inventory as quickly as it did.

“I thought people would wander in and say, ‘No, that’s not discounted enough for us,’ and that kind of thing, but they came in, and they bought,” he said.

The sale was successful in covering the store’s expenses, Bast said.

“We’ve been very lucky,” he said.

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