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Sunday, May 1, 2016

VB Hall Antique Warehouse turns 15

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vig Hall, owner of VB Hall Antiques Warehouse, poses with three of his employees and dealers. Pictured from left, are: Wanda Banks; Sue Turner; Kathy Hoyer, business manager; and Hall. The Monett business is celebrating its 15th anniversary this week with gift drawings planned on Saturday. [Times Photo by Lisa Schlichtman]
VB Hall Antique Warehouse in Monett will celebrate its 15th birthday this Saturday, July 10.

Vig Hall, the son of the late VB Hall, Sr., opened the antiques business in the summer of 1995 after refurbishing the structure at the corner of Main Street and Euclid that once was home to one of Monett's longest-running businesses, VB Hall Wholesale.

The birthday event on Saturday will be a day of celebration and will be highlighted by drawings for 40 different gifts ranging from a $25 store gift certificate to collectible glassware to a piece on Longaberger pottery. Winning names will be drawn at 11 a.m. on Saturday by Vig's 9-year-old grandson, Daniel Matthews.

Vig will be at the store on Saturday to visit with friends, neighbors and store customers. He is accompanied on his latest trip to Monett by his wife, Jane, daughter, Kelley Matthews, and grandson, Daniel.

Business at VB Hall Antiques Warehouse has remained solid and steady over the past 15 years, Vig says. The business rents booth space to antiques dealers who display their treasures in the open, 13,000-square-foot space.

"We average about 50 dealers," says Kathy Hoyer, who has served as manager of the local business since the store opened 15 years ago. "And we always have booth space for new dealers."

According to Vig, the dealers come from southwest Missouri as well as across the country with dealers traveling to Monett from as far away as California.

"We have a lot of different dealers and a lot of them specialize in certain items like glassware or furniture . . . everything you can imagine," said Vig.

Vig said the idea to open an antique warehouse in Monett grew out of conversations he had with his friends, Mike Garrett and Vernal "Pooch" Caldwell, who operated antique stores in Pierce City at the time Vig was looking for a new business venture.

"They thought this building would make a good antique mall," said Vig. "Pierce City had five antique stores, and we didn't have a store like that in Monett. So on the basis of conversations with my friends, we went about the task of gutting the place and turning the warehouse into a retail store."

Over the past 15 years, Vig has assembled a loyal group of employees who enjoy working with dealers and customers at the antique mall. In addition to Hoyer, the business employs Wanda Banks, Polly Lillegard, Doris Meyer and Debbie Perch. Lillegard and Perch have both worked at the mall since it opened, and Meyer and Banks have been part of the staff for at least a dozen years.

"The store hasn't changed much over the past 15 years," said Vig. "A lot of the same people work here and shop here. The antique store is kind of like a community center. A lot of people like to come here, browse and remember when they were kids. It's a neat thing."

For Vig, Monett will always be home, and when he is back in his office at the VB Hall Antiques Warehouse, he can't help but reminisce about his family and their deeply rooted ties to Monett.

"When I'm here, I can see my grandfather tying up his horse and getting on the train and going off to fight for the Confederacy," said Vig. "When I look at Broadway, I look at what used to be our family farm."

When Vig returns to his hometown from Los Angeles during one of the four to six trips he makes to Monett each year, he always finds reasons to look back on his early years.

"I went to work for my dad when I was 11 years old. I worked in the warehouse," said Vig. "The war was on, and he needed help."

At the height of business for VB Hall Wholesale, the company serviced 2,500 grocery stores and had an inventory of 10,000 grocery and produce items.

"We were the largest customer of Frisco Railroad in the United States," said Vig. "All of our merchandise came in by rail, and we would unload four to six carloads a day."

Vig's father operated the business from 1919 to 1972.

"We have had our name and business in this community from then (1919) until now," said Vig. "We're only nine years away from our centennial. I opened VB Hall Antiques to keep the name going.

"I live in California, but my home is in Monett," explains Vig who maintains homes in both Los Angeles and Monett. "It's always been that way, and it will always be that way. This is where our roots are and these roots go way down deep. This is home base for the Hall family."

VB Hall Antique Warehouse is located at 201 W. Main St. Business hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For information on renting booth space, call Hoyer at 417-235-1110.

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