By DENNIS J. WRIGHT
PHOENIXVILLE - On any given day, Peter Todd Scioli, or simply "Todd" to those who know him, casually sits on a wooden chair in front of his establishment, Scioli's Used Furniture & Antiques, and greets prospective customers and passerbys.
According to Todd, he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I know a lot of the people in this town by making myself seen out here," said Todd. "We're laid back here and people are always welcome to stop by. That's how we get a lot of repeat business, by being seen and talking to people as they go by. That is one of the best things I like about this job, the fact that people are always stopping by. Whether they're coming from dinner or a movie, people see us sitting outside and will socialize with us. Once the majority of the regular work is done, then it's time to sit outside and help bring the customers in."
When Todd and his associate, Josh Unruh, are working, they're busy buying and selling various pieces of used furniture and antiques.
"We try to buy stuff everyday," said Todd. "To most people beyond our area, we are one of the best kept secrets here in Phoenixville."
Todd said the four-story, 16,000 square-foot store was the first antiques store along Bridge Street.
"My family's had the store here for over 20 years, and my father had always sold antiques for well over 43 years," said Todd. "That's all my father did for a living, and he was pretty good at it. That's why I figured I'd follow in his footsteps."
Upon graduating from Phoenixville High School in 1991, Todd said he began working at his father's store full time. "I always helped my Dad around the store while I was in school," said Todd. "After school, Dad and I began working together almost every day.
"This one day, (famous fashion designer) Ralph Lauren came to Phoenixville and he was walking around the store. After looking at a few things, he decided to buy a huge wooden bar from my father. That certainly made my Dad's day," said Todd.
However, Todd's father, Peter A. Scioli, developed cancer, and Todd said his father began spending less time at the store. "He would come in still at least once a week, which was always nice," said Todd.
Peter A. Scioli passed away on December 27, 2003, and Todd said his father didn't want anyone to know of his illness.
"Hardly anyone knew that he was sick, and that's the way he wanted it to be," he said. "There were over 500 people at his funeral. That shows how much people liked and respected him. I certainly do miss him a lot."
Todd reminisced how he and his father used to go fishing all of the time down the shore. "Our family had a shore house in Delaware, and we'd go down for vacations all of the time," he said. "Dad sure liked to go fishing. It was his way of relaxing. We used to have plenty of talks. He was a big influence in my life."
Since his father's passing, Todd said he's managed to keep the family business going strong, and will continue to do so.
"We have a known location here in downtown Phoenixville. We're near the Colonial Theatre, and Josh and I are always around," said Todd. "We have four floors jammed packed with stuff. Anything you can find for your house, you can find it in here. We have one of the largest selections of used furniture and antiques in the area. You can't ask for much more than that."
Scioli's Used Furniture & Antiques is located at 235 Bridge Street, Phoenixville. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 12 to 4 p.m. Evenings are by appointment.
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