Richard Bradford of Southwest Harbor hosts events at his antique shop, The Store, on 10 Clark Point Road. ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

Brick and mortar brings community together

The Store, Richard Bradford’s New England-style antique shop in Southwest Harbor, hosts wine tasting events.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Just about two years ago, builder and designer Richard Bradford of Southwest Harbor opened The Store, a space from which he sells his craftsman services as well as antique decor.  

The space has also evolved into a year-round place for community events. 

At Bradford’s shop, folks have attended concerts, yoga classes and wine tastings, which, especially over the last year, have become more and more frequent.  

“We try to make it a community space, where people can come,” said Bradford, who added that the space has room for large groups.  

Bradford, who has traveled around the world building custom homes for nearly half a century, relocated to Mount Desert Island 30 years ago. It was then, when he took on a job to design and build a home on Swan’s Island, that Bradford decided to plant roots in Southwest Harbor.  

“At that time, we were gonna build a house in Spain before I decided to do the Swan’s [Island] one instead,” Bradford said. 

Bradford started to build custom homes for various residents on Mount Desert Island. He also continued to craft and rework old wood furniture. He then became interested in interior decorating and furnished a home that he built for himself. He invested in antique home furnishings to give his homes a specific aesthetic, and from there he began to also design for clients.  

After Bradford acquired a surplus of antiques from around New England, he needed a place where he could display his finds and highlight his design skills. 

“With all the stuff in storage containers from over the years, it seemed like not a bad idea to open a store so I could keep buying the things I love,” he said.  

Space became available in 2020 following the closure of a consignment shop called Fred’s. “The owner of the building said, if you want to move in here, don’t even pay the rent and if it works, we’ll talk about rent,” Bradford said.  

During his shop’s first season, Bradford figured out what to sell. “I wanted to appeal to a group of people who appreciated the items in my store because antiques are something I’m passionate about,” he said.   

Store items have since gained traction with seasonal residents and locals. With its increasing inventory of items that range from nautical Victorian eclectic paintings to 100-year-old model trains, The Store has progressed into a shop that welcomes repeat customers and clients for Bradford’s design work. 

The Store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday from June to September.  

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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