Rustique Relics named Retailer of the Year by customers

Published 12:35 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Rustique Relics Home Decor & General Store won the 2022 Alabama Retailer of the Year Customers’ Choice award after receiving the most votes by the people they serve.

The Alabama Retail Association held a contest on their Facebook page with 41 other businesses for customers to vote on their favorite local business. Rustique Relics received 1,669 of the 7,584 votes cast, good enough for 22% of the votes and the most received out of the 42 businesses. The contest ran from Aug. 1-15.

“It was pretty exciting, because it was a customer choice award,” Rodney Baker, one of the owners of Rustique Relics, said. “It means our customers voted for us, and that is a huge and impactful thing.”

Rodney, along with his wife Missy, own the business and have 71 vendors in the store that sell their own goods they make or antiques they are looking to pass on. The couple took over the business after Missy’s mother passed away, and they tried to keep things mostly the same.

“We tried to keep the feeling, but at the same time grow in different ways,” Rodney Baker said.

The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce nominated Rustique Relics for the contest. The store is on the Alabama Antique Trail and welcomes many out-of-town antique seekers through its doors.

Rodney said the business has added online shopping through their website and Facebook page and shipping to help enhance the customer experience in the past year.

Rustique Relics holds customer events at the start of every month. Those events will begin again throughout the fall months after a two-month hiatus for the summer weather.

“We try to meet customer demands. If they are looking for an item, we try to find it for them,” Rodney Baker said. “It is about building relationships with folks, and that is the most important thing I think. As a community if we come together and support one another, then the community will stand. It will not fail if we stay together.”

Rodney Baker said that having the award be a customer voted award made it more special to them, and it means a lot.

“It is just a humbling experience having everyone come out and vote for us like that,” Rodney Baker said. “Without the customers, there are no awards to hand out … You have to really remember that as a business owner.”

The Alabama Retail Association and the Chilton Chamber will present Rustique Relics with their award at a ceremony on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. at the business.