Beth Dupont – Good Foods Good Things

When she comes across a ratty chair with ripped upholstery and scratched wood, her heart rate goes up. Beth dupont is a master at seeing past the beat-up appearance of an old upholstered piece, to the fabulous bones and quality that older furniture holds. Moving to Connecticut, Beth was involved in all the “young housewife stuff” from school functions to volunteering but her true love was old homes. Renovating her own home led her down a path of renovating multiple homes – all with age and character.

Throughout the 1990s, Beth was enthralled with taking a beat-up home and making it shine again through the use of simple renovation techniques that maintained the character of the homes. But the risk in the real estate market turned her to another pursuit.

When she walked into the local specialty food store on the Post Road, she knew in her gut, that one day she would own and run that store. Not long after that, snowshoeing in VT, she ran into an old friend. It was this chance meeting where she heard the store was for sale. Beth’s heart was racing – this was her chance to pursue her dream.

Purchasing the business, her vision was to expand to a home store but keep the food part as well. “When customers come in it always smells like chocolate chip cookies,” she says, “I want shoppers to feel immediately at home.” But how to stand out in an area with lots of home stores? It is Beth’s talent at reclaiming old furniture that puts her on the map for a must visit shopping experience.

Combining modern accessories like lamps, vases, trays and boxes with her redone pieces, the look is fab. “Old furniture has amazing character that new pieces sometimes lack. You can feel the quality in the weight of each chair or foot stool.” Beth focuses on smaller unique chairs and settees that speak to her heart. Her advice to shoppers,” When you see something you love, buy it; you’ll find a place for it.”

In today’s economy, what is her advice for making your home feel new and fresh on a budget? “It doesn’t take much. Don’t be afraid to rearrange what you have and add a pillow with great color or a redone footstool or slipper chair. Older pieces can be less expensive, too.” Beth is great at finding a bolt of solid linen fabric at a flea market for a song and using it to cover a set of chairs with character or a settee with carved wooden arms. And the fun part, “I like to think about who may have sat in this chair in France or England.”

A coat of paint can change everything and Beth uses fun colors on wood furniture to infuse energy into a piece and ultimately into a room. Even without her shop to showcase these items in elegant vignettes – there is a great venture in reclaiming older furniture. She offers these items to her clients through her design firm, as well as in her store. Her most amazing find was a table that she bought for $85 at a flea market. She had it painted a high gloss white, transforming the value and appeal. Beth says, “I believe these unique finds give soul and personality to someone’s home .”

Beth’s treasures come from everywhere – from typical antique shows, to flea markets, garage sales and she might even pick up a piece that has been cast along the side of the road. “I see the potential and I’d much rather have an older chair than something that has no character.”

Running a store can be a huge task, but Beth says, “I love both the energy of such a creative outlet and also the community that the store provides. The best part about the store is the people who come in to shop, collaborate on ideas and maybe just to chat.”

Contact: Five Mile River Design Works, 203-434-9014, Good Foods Good Things, 203-655-7355

[email protected]

VentureMom Tip

Be unique. Take something you love and find a way to showcase it in a setting that already exists.