The Times West Virginian

Business

April 13, 2014

Chancelors reopens at new site after devastating fire

BARRACKVILLE — Nothing, not event a devastating fire, can keep Chancelors down.

At the beginning of March, this family-owned auction business and store opened at its new location beside Premier Body Works, a mile and a half past the Barrackville Covered Bridge.

Mike Zemonick operates the business with his daughter, Michelle Zemonick-Jenkins and son-in-law Worthy Jenkins Jr., and the couple’s 5-year-old son Worthy Michael also likes to help out.

On Oct. 17 of last year, a power outlet short-circuited at the former building of Chancelors, which was located north of Farmington on Route 250 just before North Marion High School, and caused a disastrous fire. The fire destroyed the structure, which had housed the business since 1996, and all the items inside.

Some merchandise was saved because it was being held at Chancelors Store, a spinoff of the auction business that opened about a year ago. It is stationed along Husky Highway right past the Barrackville intersection in the Floyd Construction Complex.

The tragic events of October didn’t prevent Zemonick and his family from continuing the auction business that they started about 20 years ago.

After the fire, they never stopped buying items for the business. They were looking for a new place to house Chancelors, and had some Christmas sales at the senior center in Mannington in the mean time.

Amy Nickolich had the idea of seeing if the owners were interested in renting the 15,000 square foot building constructed by her late husband, Franz “Nick” Nickolich, who passed away in November. Her son, Brad Nickolich, called Zemonick with the proposal.

Brad explained that his parents built the facility to be used as a flea market. But the Covered Bridge Flea Market has been closed and the space has been sitting empty for about 10 years. Chancelors was the perfect tenant to bring the building back to life.

Zemonick and his family started renting the facility in January. They spent two months making renovations, like building a wall in between the store and auction portions of the space, fixing the auction stage and putting down gravel in the parking lot.

“The mixture of stuff here makes it fun to browse,” Brad said of Chancelors. “Mike provides a place for people to get together.”

Zemonick said the business sells a combination of just about everything, and the inventory is constantly changing.

“You never know what’s going to be here,” he said. “It’s something new every day.”

Chancelors buys furniture from estates and also purchases new merchandise and other treasures from people. Zemonick said he’s on the road every day trying to buy and sell items. He travels to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and other locations to search for good deals.

“This is the ‘funnest’ job you’ll ever do,” he said. “You never get bored with it.”

At the store, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, customers can find hutches, chests of drawers, tables, chairs, tools, antiques, old toys, collectibles, household items, glassware, new camouflage comforters and sheets, and much more.

The goal is to give people the best deal possible, Zemonick said. The business has set up a computer system and is in the process of being able to accept credit cards.

Sometimes if certain items don’t sell in the store, they are put up for bid along with a variety of unique items at the weekly auction. The auctions take place every Saturday evening at 6 p.m. at the building, and the store also remains open during that time.

Zemonick said a lot of time and effort go into preparing for these auctions. His son-in-law, Worthy Jenkins Jr., serves as one of the auctioneers, along with Billy Martin, who owns S&M Glass in Fairmont.

During its first auction at the new building, Chancelors had a packed crowd of more than 200 people. Many regulars come to the auction every week to check out the new items, and they were eager to see the business open back up, Zemonick said.

While the building always had a kitchen area, it was never used in the past. Brad said he’s excited that Chancelors is able to now serve food from the kitchen during its auctions.

For more information, call the business at 304-366-8814 or Zemonick at 304-365-0811.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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