Old school

Todburn Antiques Downsizes Without Skimping on Style

The Sarasota shop has moved next door, but all of its throwback magic remains.

By Kim Doleatto January 22, 2021

Donald Jobe, owner of Todburn Antiques, holds a picture of his younger self at his new location on Fruitville Road.

Image: Kim Doleatto

You won't have to go far to find Todburn Antiques’ new location. It moved next door. Along with American Pie, Treasures and Antiques and Chatchkes, the shop is one of the few that remain on a Fruitville Road strip that now houses a vape shop, a barber shop and other service businesses.

After six years, owner Donald Jobe downsized from a 5,000-square-foot space to about half of that, but kept all the wacky, wicked and eclectic flavor that turns the shop into a patchwork time warp to the '50s, '60s and '70s.

Jobe says he wanted something more intimate, and it was tough to keep up with all the inventory that packed the previous space. He began moving in October, and the new location was up and running in time for the holidays.

Amid the pandemic, Jobe says, residents have rediscovered where they live, and an outpouring of support from locals and stay-cationers from nearby cities like Tampa became new customers.

Jobe has been collecting and selling antiques for 60 years, 33 of them in West Point, Connecticut, some of them in Manhattan.

What is the oldest thing you’ll find in his store? "Me," he says. The 77-year-old has been fascinated by unique treasures since his childhood, and still holds dear a little Japanese vase with broken handles he bought when he was 8.

The shop houses everything from antique thimbles to saucy Alberto Vargas illustrations. As for a focused specialty, “There's too much inventory to list,” he says. Best-selling items include pottery, glass art, and antique cameras, clocks and radios.

A bar area stocks mid-century glassware, decanters and flasks. And a clothes nook sparkles with enough sequined dresses to outfit a theatre troupe, along with plumed hats, some designed by Jobe. In the restroom, Marilyn Monroe smiles from every corner, with top to bottom rare shots and iconic takes of the star. A collection of vintage Coca-Cola signs covers a wall, and in the back, antique wood toys bring grandpa's "before there were video games" stories to life.

From the strange and unique to the fun and playful, Jobe has it all, even in a smaller space.

Todburn Antiques is now located at 1526 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, and is open 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

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