Kate and Em's is the kind of place that takes you back in time, any time near or far for a trip down Memory Lane. The owner, Dan Moran is a man who loves history, especially history of Exeter and all the fine men and women from town who have served their country through the years.
Photos of service men are displayed on the wall behind the counter. Dan takes great pride in telling visitors who they are, where they served, and whether they are still with us. On a bulletin board to the right of the counter, Dan has posted obituaries of interesting people who have achieved notable longevity, as well as others he has followed in the news.
He tells one funny story of a friend who came in to sit and chat (that's what lots of people do here) and commented on a long framed photo he had of WWI soldiers from Exeter. 'Why did you buy that?' asked his friend. 'You didn't know any of those men.' Dan's answer was the equivalent of 'just because.' The man walked a little closer, looked up and said, 'That's my cousin!' Guess who wants the photo now, but it's still on Dan's wall.
This is the kind of place where you will always find something 'just right' to take as a house gift, or to give as a birthday present to that friend who loves memorabilia. I guess you could say it reeks in nostalgia. 'Every Saturday, my mother baked beans in that same kind of bean pot.' 'Oh, Aunt Grace had a table just like that!' 'You mean people kept those pots under the bed?' And so it goes; if it existed, Dan's got it.
You can also find some nice furniture here too. As we were chatting, some kids (you know, 30-ish) came in and bought a sofa. Their friends backed up a truck and away they all flew, off to furnish their home.
When we were there the other day (just jawing) a young girl (25-28) came in, wandered around and came to Dan with a Scotch Tape holder shaped like a turtle (or frog, I don't remember.) 'How much is this?' 'A dollar,' says Dan. The girl gives Dan $2.00 and won't take a dollar back. Dan protests. The girl, smiling says, 'I've been looking for something like this forever,' and walks out the door. It's that kind of store, or perhaps it's an emporium? Whatever, it's unusual and it's fun.
Today, we were introduced to a visiting friend of Dan's, Peter Smith. Peter is the Vice President of the Exeter Historical Society and rightly so. He is the 10th generation of his family to live in Exeter, and is the fifth generation to live in the same house. That's going some. Furthermore, he has built a log cabin on his property for his son. We will make a point of getting over there one day soon.
And the history of Kate and Em's? Well, an antique store, Lily and Rose stood on the property that Dan purchased in 1995. Around 2000, he took over the shop. I don't know exactly what kind of antiques the former owners had, but today Dan, when asked to described what he sells, said 'flea market,' 'junque,' He's being his amusing self. The guy has a great sense of humor.
Drop in and chat with him some time. If you're a veteran, he'll love to listen to your stories. If you're not, he'll tell you some. Whatever...you'll have a great time and you may find just that treasure you've been yearning for.
Days: Monday thru Saturday
Hours: 10 to 5
Clear out your trunk before you come, so you can fill it here. Google Map to Kate & Em's