BY SARA SHEIKH
Located in the heart of downtown Ellettsville, Samboola’s Trading Co. — “Purveyors of Goods & Stuff” — sells antiques, vintage memorabilia, up-cycled pieces, local art, and locally produced handmade goods.
Antique enthusiasts may be familiar with owner Craig Koontz, whose passion for antiquing spans a quarter century. Before opening Samboola’s in February 2016, the Monroe County native sold items at Westbury Antique Market and Jolly Roger’s Flea Market. Samboola’s, at 200 N. Sale St., occupies a 107-year-old building that once housed Hudson Regal Food Market and Knights of Pythias.
“I was drawn to this building both because of its location and lighting,” says Koontz, 57. “Our windows serve as our best sales tool. So many people drop in because they’ve noticed us while driving or walking by. The community has welcomed us.” Once inside, customers are greeted by Joey, a rat terrier–Chihuahua mix, who serves as the store’s mascot. “I love animals and have a menagerie of them at home,” says Koontz.
In fact, after testing about 30 potential names for the store, Koontz came up with the name by merging two of his former pets’ names — a cat named Sam and a parrot named Boola. He decided to use the term “Trading Co.” both to suggest that Samboola’s sells more than antiques and to allow him the flexibility to change his product mix based on client demand.
The store sells an eclectic assortment of merchandise. Examples include a cast-aluminum rocking horse, a 1920s’ dentist’s chair, a 35-year-old painting by local artist Fred Baganz, a handcrafted walnut cabinet built from two antique Victorian dresser drawers, and locally made goods such as soaps and preserves. In keeping with the local theme, local metal artist Ryan Ferkingstad made the store’s exterior copper sign, and the store’s counter is limestone from B.G. Hoadley Quarries.