River Emporium reopens full of treasures and hope

ABOVE: River Emporium in Woodburn has reopened.

Susanna Freymark

Glenda Wright points to the ceiling of the River Emporium at Woodburn.

The floodwaters rose that high.

River Emporium in floodwaters in 2022. Photo: Contributed

In the March floods last year, Glenda lost a huge haul of the treasures and antiques she had been selling in her shop since 1994.

Back in ’94, her brother did French polishing at the shop then she moved up from Sydney.

In the 30 years since, the shop has never flooded.

Last year, she had an hour and half to clear the shop before the water came across the road from the Richmond River and flooded the emporium.

Glenda Wright in the shop. Photos: Susanna Freymark

“I got crates of vinyl (records) out and cleared some of the bottom shelves,” Glenda said.

The clean-up has been massive. Apart from lost stock there was a lot of cleaning to do. Glenda got a flood recovery business grant to help with the repairs.

Glenda’s house at Doonbah was flooded too.

The shop is again filled with vintage clothes, crockery, metal purses, chandeliers, chairs, couches and a colourful wooden rocking dog.

The shop is “part of my life,” Glenda said.

She has a penchant for vintage holy objects like old crucifixes.

Opening times of the shop have been scattered and Glenda still has to price everything in the shop – another massive task.

Some of the pricing requires research to see what a koala ornament by a famous potter is worth.

People pop into the shop not looking for anything in particular but finding something – a Finnish teapot, a footy shirt that they didn’t know they wanted, until they saw it.

Customers come from Lennox Head, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane.

The shop after flooding.

River Emporium brings outside money to Woodburn and is a compelling reason to leave the highway and visit the river town.

Glenda plans to have three days off and have the shop open Thursday–Sunday.

Check in at River Emporium Facebook page.

Not a rocking horse but a rocking dog.

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