Published On: Thu, Jul 13th, 2017

A little bit of everything can be found at Broadway Mercantile

Dan and Angie Wsmberg stand in front of an original wall full of hardware at their store Broadway Mercantile in Wausa on June 30, 2017.

WAUSA — Broadway Mercantile is one of “those” stores, according to owners Dan and Angie Wamberg.
Broadway Mercantile in Wausa has just about everything someone would and wouldn’t be looking for. The same store selling clip ties and garden hose also sells a rare Pete Rose baseball card and old toys once played with by children who have long since grown up. A life-size cardboard cutout of James Dean points directly at a hanging tapestry of Elvis Presley screaming into a mike, frozen in time.
“It’s just one of those places where you never know what you you’re looking for until you find it,” Angie Wamberg said.
The Wambergs will soon be celebrating their first full year since opening Broadway Mercantile last July. What was once just going to be a storefront for the Wambergs to store and sell antiques became a hybrid of sorts after the couple began preparing the store for its first day of business.
“Our collection just got so big, we had to start selling,” Angie Wamberg said.

                   James Dean

She said the place is half-antique and half-hardware store, and is one of the few independent hardware stores in the area. She said she and Dan were trying to buy the storage building next door, but the hardware store was included in the deal.
“The previous owners left pieces and parts of everything,” Angie Wamberg said. “The first year was lots of cleaning.”
The two are self-professed auction enthusiasts– it’s where the majority of their antique selection comes from. Before they opened up shop in town, going to auctions was a hobby for them. Each month, they go around the area to attend up to three auctions.
The Wambergs didn’t comment as to where specifically they go, out of respect for the competitive nature of participating in auctions.
They don’t discriminate when they’re buying, just about everything on display is up for grabs for them.
“Whatever we think will sell,” Dan Wamberg said.
A native of Wausa, Dan Wamberg said he’s been going to auctions ever since he’s been big enough to help his father carry his earnings to his pickup truck. Before marrying Dan 22 years ago, Angie said she had never been to an auction before.
Now it’s her full-time job.
Since the city only has around 588 people, she said business can be hard at times, since they still have to compete with other name-brand hardware stores in the area.
“Some days you even wonder why you even opened the door,” Angie Wamberg said.
Despite the challenge, the couple said the Wausa community has been helpful in keeping the store alive and well. Utilizing the far-reaching influence Facebook as well as advertising from the grocery store and meat locker, they said they get customers from both the town and from people stopping through on the highway. Dan Wamberg said people tell him their store is different and more varied than other antique stores, mostly due to Angie’s organizational skills.
“It’s not just rows of furniture, it’s set up well,” he said.
Angie Wamberg said the two would like to start their own auctions during their second year in business, and their first stop is in Hartington during the Cedar County Fair.
For now, she said their goal is to continue being a small town hardware-antique store that sells just a little bit of everything.
“Every town’s got one of those shops,” she said.