The store was run by Bob and Judi Pheiffer, who met when they were 28 and 18, repsectively, and had lived in Park Slope since 1979. Their first business was selling airbrushed clothing at flea markets, but after a cancer scare they decided to avoid chemicals and began selling vintage bric-a-brac instead. The business was so successful that in 1997 they moved into a former exterminator shop on then run-down Fifth Avenue, and the rest was history. They became a neighborhood fixture -- one of those types of businesses that just couldn't exist anymore in Manhattan -- and the affable owners were actively involved with the Fifth Avenue BID and local schools and organizations.
Back in May, Bob and Judi decided that it was time to pack it up and get back to their roots, and have left Brooklyn behind. "We found a great flea market in California, and we'll be selling similar stuff out there," Judi told me last week. "We just needed to slow down and take it easier, and we can keep doing what we love."
While it's unfortunate that the quirky store and their ever-present, friendly and helpful proprietors will no longer be around, it's reassuring to know that they're still following their passion, just at a more leisurely pace. Best of luck to them in California!