BURLINGTON — Situated in downtown Burlington, Barbara’s Hidden Treasures is a secret gem buried in Alamance County.
Walking into the store, one instantly sees the variety of furniture, dining sets, decor and antique knick-knacks.
The store is much larger than it seems from the outside and has three separate sections — each filled with unique items and interesting finds. Located behind Mayberry Restaurant & Ice Cream Creations, there’s no question where Barbara’s Hidden Treasures gets its name — but it’s more than just an everyday thrift shop.
Barbara’s Hidden Treasures has a passion for assisting the community, which is grounded in their strong connection to downtown Burlington.
Barbara Todd, the owner of the store, mentioned how she does home cleanouts, accepts donations and goes to yard sales to get the items she sells. In a county suffering from food insecurity and poverty, Todd strives to offer fair deals to struggling individuals in her area by selling items below commercial retail value and having negotiable prices.
“I wouldn’t ever buy anything new. I wouldn’t suggest for anybody to because it’s just overpriced. We get the same thing,” Todd said. “The reason I started it is to give back to the community. We give 98% of our stuff back to different charities.”
Todd also spoke about the importance of community service, explaining how she opened her store to help the community that supported her.
“So many people need stuff and can’t get it. I’ve just always been the type of person to give what I can,” Todd said.
Brandy Burkhead, an employee at the store, spoke about her love for thrift stores and what she enjoys most about her job.
“Everybody who comes in here is happy. People love thrift shops. People who come in here are coming in here because they want to, not because they have to,” Burkhead said. “I most of all like to help people. If there’s something here that can help somebody, that they don’t have to pay above certain prices, I got you.”
Burkhead talked about her upbringing and how her mother loved going to yard sales, which sparked her interest in thrifting.
“My whole life, my mother has been a thrift shopper and that’s one of my big things — I love yard sales,” Burkhead said.
Both Todd and Burkhead said they wouldn’t trade what they do for the world.
Todd said their main goal is to help people. The store serves as a place where customers can get away from the inflated prices of traditional stores and instead find unique items at reduced and affordable prices.
Speaking from her own experiences, Todd expressed how important supporting the community is, and how both she and Burkhead are dedicated to giving fair prices and learning about the people who frequently visit the store.
“Everything is negotiable,” Burkhead said. “That’s what people want to do — they want to go to the thrift shop; they want to find a good deal.”