Happy Hunting is truly a store where the name says it all. “Our store offers antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing and jewelry, furniture, lamps, housewares, artwork – you name it,” says the store’s owner, Cathleen Borensztein.
Borensztein says she has had an interest in antiques and collectibles for some time. “I always enjoyed estate sales and antique shops as a child. My mother took me to those places often,” she says. After working in several other fields, Borensztein says that, “I was really looking to move into work that I really enjoyed, and this is it.”
That passion for collectibles and antiques comes through strongly at Happy Hunting. “Our inventory is constantly changing. Customers come in and they just love the stuff. They’ll say, “You have a knack for having just the right things'”, she says.
Borensztein also says that many customers appreciate the quality craftsmanship of the store’s older items. “It’s really true – they don’t make things as they used to,” she says. “I enjoy providing people with that value.”
In fact, Borensztein says she enjoys meeting her customers more than any other aspect of the business. “I meet so many interesting people. And I swear, I have the greatest customers.”
In return, Borensztein treats her customers well. “It really is all about the customers,” she says. “We have flexible pricing and a layaway plan. We also have a wide variety of items, anything from ‘shabby chic’ to very high end, and everything in-between.”
To ensure customers return, Borensztein makes sure her staff is very friendly. “Many of my customers tell me this is their favorite store, and the friendliness of the staff has a lot to do with that.”
Customers may also linger a bit more once they are in the store. “I always make sure that our atmosphere is a real Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½plus’. We play a wide variety of music, from Leonard Cohen to Van Morrisson and more,” she says.
Borensztein’s instincts about what keeps customers happy are right on, gauging from the business’ success. The store is now 9 years old as of May, 2006.
With all of the business’ success, however, Borensztein also makes time to give back to the community. “We raise money for a charity called Time Out For Caregivers. The charity provides a break to the caregivers of special needs children, allowing them to go out to dinner, see a movie, or just have a break from providing care for their special needs child.” Customers can donate items to Time Out For Caregivers at Happy Hunting. When the item is sold, one hundred per cent of the proceeds go to Time Out For Caregivers.
Happy Hunting is located at 1910-A Encinal Avenue in Alameda, and can be reached by phone at 522-2404. Store hours are usually 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.