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Special gifts galore at Tin Rooster, an antique, artisan and vintage collective

Business December 19, 2021

Sue Dittrich opened Tin Rooster on Fort Salonga Road on March 1, 2020; the onset of Covid 19 closed her doors just two weeks later. She wasn’t able to open again for two and a half months, but like so many local small businesses, she got creative with online sales and building her social media presence. “We were able to survive,” she said, and today her antique store is up and running fast.

Sue has been antiquing for the last eight years, first as a dealer in other cooperative antique stores. She then decided to open her own shop; Sue is the primary owner of Tin Rooster and there are nine other dealers and two artisans who rent space. It’s considered a co-op, which means that they all help work the shop and there aren’t any paid employees.

A stroll through the store is like a tour of the decades. There’s vintage clothing from the 1960s and ’70s, glassware, a room of records and concert posters, traffic signs, license plates, maps and costume jewelry. There’s an entire section of rooster-themed items, including aprons, mugs and casserole dishes. And for the holidays, there are vintage ornament sets and ceramic Christmas trees from the 1950s that fly off the shelf, according to Sue.

She said she and the shop’s dealers scour the country to buy unique finds – new items arrive at the antique and vintage collective every day. “Between myself and the other dealers, we’re constantly bringing new things in, so it’s always different when you come inside," she said. They go to estate sales, flea markets and garage sales as well. Sellers often come into the space privately, too, in hopes of selling their antiques to the shop. “I can’t buy it all. I have to be very selective,” Sue explained.

Choosing the right pieces that will resell is what takes knowledge and talent. People don’t really buy grandma’s fine china anymore, they are moving away from formal pieces, Sue said. She couldn’t pinpoint a best seller in the store, but said that “people like something special, something that they don’t really see everywhere.”

Sue has some antique pieces in her own home, but she doesn’t like clutter. She chooses special items and said that’s part of what she loves about this industry. “I’m fairly new to this and I’m still learning. Every day I get to research and learn something new.”

Tin Rooster is certainly a place to find a thoughtful gift for someone special and chances are you’ll grab something that resonates with you, too. If you’re running around for last-minute gifts, the store, located at 377 Fort Salonga Road in Northport, is hosting a “Sip and Shop” night this Thursday, December 23, from 6-8pm, which will include complimentary beverages and nibbles.

Browse the extensive record and poster collection.

A wood carved Buddah sits among the unique finds throughout Tin Rooster.

There’s something for everyone in the costume jewelry cases.

A collection of vintage signs, plaques and plates are placed throughout the antique shop.

Explore sets of vintage glassware for an artsy, unique at-home bar.

If you like roosters, you’re in luck. There’s an entire section of vintage rooster finds.

More license plates at Tin Rooster!

Browse through an entire room of vintage clothing, including dresses, hats, coats and purses.

Throughout the store, there are unique items that bring you back to decades past.

Explore sets of vintage glassware for an artsy, unique at-home bar.