Cheney Free Press -

By PAUL DELANEY
Staff Reporter 

Surprises await a visit to JJ's Warehouse Treasures

 

Paul Delaney

Rich Butterfield with one of his "treasures," an antique tiller at JJ's Warehouse Treasures.

Don't let the name fool you.

JJ's Warehouse Treasures is much more of the latter and does not remotely resemble one's vision of the former - a warehouse.

The business, located along the frontage road adjacent to U.S. Highway 2 in Airway Heights, is clean and bright inside. And it's well organized with not even the hint of clutter that one might think of when conjuring up images of a business that buys and sells used merchandise.

Because among the items on the floor is brand new furniture, sprinkled in with antiques and this-and-thats.

"(We have) all kinds of treasures," Rich Butterfield said. He, along with wife, Johna, own the business that landed in the city, across from Liberty Tire and east of Yoke's Fresh Market in 2013. JJ's is quite easy to find with the big yellow sign hanging in front.

The 30-year veteran of the auto upholstery business started conducting auctions in 2008. "But it wasn't going well enough so we changed over," Butterfield said.

Butterfield said the vibe was that residents in Airway Heights wanted a place where they could buy new furniture locally, including that from Northwest Bedding, another nearby manufacturer located on Hayford Road.

The bed builder sells out of branded retail locations, but also independently, Butterfield said. He orders direct according to what the customer wants, saving a trip through busy Spokane traffic. And they deliver free, he added, within a reasonable distance of course.

Portions of the showroom floor feature the products acquired from estates.

In purchasing estates, Butterfield said he buys, "Only prior to a sale." In other words, before all the major pieces in a sale - furniture, antiques for instance - are offered to the public, JJ's goes in and makes an offer on a collection of specific items.

"I will come in, if we make an agreement, all they have to do is give me the keys to the house and we take everything out of it with the exception of garbage and chemicals," Butterfield, said.

When he's finished emptying a house, Butterfield, said, the client is given a check. The company does zero consignments, Butterfield, emphasized.

The collections are brought back to the store where they are sorted, put into inventory, or offered to third parties like Goodwill. "I don't want a bunch of garbage," Butterfield said. "Not that I don't have some," he chuckled.

And he's particular about what finds a place inside the store.

Butterfield spoke of a sofa/loveseat combination that was being offered at a special bargain price of $99. "You can have it because it came from a smoker's house, but I will not put it inside my store," he added.

Butterfield cautions potential customers, "If your house stinks at all, whether it's cats or dogs," forget it.

Butterfield's second career, after sewing car seats, was in the arena of auctions. But it got to a point where there was no money.

"I still do benefit auctions, my big one's coming up on the 15th (this Saturday, April 15) at the Lincoln Center for Building Dreams," Butterfield said of the event that supports activities at Spokane's West Central Community Center.

He teams with local television personality Claire Graham who emcees the event. Butterfield also conducts the annual Cheney Rodeo auction as well as one for Salnave Elementary School.

And when the weather finally cooperates, maybe in late April, Butterfield plans to turn his parking lot into a flea market. "We've had a lot of fun with that," Butterfield said.

MORE INFO

JJ's Warehouse Treasures is located at 12711 U.S. Hwy. 2. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. To contact JJ's Warehouse Treasures call (509) 218-2142.

Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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