A place to rest, shop

By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
Register Reporter

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Barb Siefker stands amidst some of the vintage items available at the new Back Forty antiques and collectibles store in Moran. The store, just south of the post office parking lot, is open Wednesdays through Sundays.

MORAN — Moran is seeing something of a business boom these days. Two new vintage goods stores and a farmers market have started up.
Across from the Moran Meat Locker and just south of the post office is the latest: the Back Forty.
Envisioned just this fall, the business had its grand opening July 1.
The antique and collectibles store is unique, in that the goal of owner Barb Siefker isn’t so much to sell as to be a service to the community.
The front of the store is laid out with covered card tables, spread with checker board, jigsaw puzzle, dominoes and other games.
“Anybody who wants can have club meetings up front,” said Siefker. “They provide the refreshments and I’ll provide the coffee,” she said.
If such hospitality seems unusual from a market place, consider that Siefker and her husband E.J. run a bed and breakfast in the winter months in Tucson, Ariz.
Giving back comes easily to Siefker. Besides the offer to local clubs, she said the town’s gentlemen come in every morning “for their second cup of coffee.
“In the afternoons, the women come for coffee klatch.”
And that’s just fine with Siefker.
“I don’t care if I sell anything,” she said, “I just want the company.”
Siefker decided to open the Back Forty after a vision caught hold of her in November.
“One night I had a dream. I saw the store up town.”
She shared her dream with her family and the next thing you know, “My son-in-law Michael Stodgell built it for me from old barn wood,” she said of the rustic-walled building. Family friends Ken Hale and his sons helped as well, Siefker said.
As work was progressing, Siefker’s daughter, Deb Tynon, told her that the store needed to be bigger. So, “We made it 30 by 60 feet,” Siefker said, about twice what she had envisioned.
Now she’s glad she did. Filled with her own and her family’s collectibles, they also have room for half a dozen other vendors.
“I’m picky about what I carry,” Siefker said.
The quality of the goods reflects that.
Complete plate sets, a homesteader table and vintage Avon perfume buttons are all on display. Sheaves of wheat picked and bundled by Siefker’s granddaughter Mackenzie Tynon poke artistically from various buckets and baskets throughout the store, lending a country market feel.
There are sundae glasses, both from Hershey’s and unmarked, and rocking chairs and vintage toys.
Up for grabs is a set of collectible Oz dolls, complete with Munchkins and flying monkey. “I bought that as a collectible back in 1989,” Siefker said. “We never even took them out of their boxes.”
The collection is representative of “why I wanted an antique store,” Siefker said. “I don’t need this stuff anymore.”
“You get to a certain age, and you realize you don’t need things.”
There are a few things Siefker will keep.
In the back corner of the store is an antique doctor’s buggy that Siefker intends to have “restored by Mennonites in Mont Ida,” she said.
On the veranda sits a five-row, horse drawn planter. Beside the door is a branded bench the Siefkers picked up in their travels. Her husband and son-in-law added their brands to it as well, she said.
Visitors are welcome to sit a spell, sip some iced tea and enjoy a quiet moment of small town life.
The name of the store reflects the family’s primary business.
“We’re farmers,” Siefker said.
Only her daughter Susan left that business. A flight attendant based in Dallas, she flew in for the grand opening to surprise her mother.
“She baked 16 dozen cookies that she brought with her,” Siefker said. Susan also put some of her own vintage collectibles up for sale.
Prices in the store are reasonable, because, Siefker said, she shops, too. A steady stream of customers seems to appreciate that fact.
The Back Forty is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 10 :30 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The coffee is always on.