FARGO—Hadi Alsadoun likes collecting stuff.
The former artist who previously owned a cleaning business is a big fan of reality show "American Pickers." He became something of a picker himself over the years, renting out multiple garage spaces in town to fill with the old furniture, clocks, landline phones and other odds and ends he picked up from garage sales, thrift stores and private purchases from locals.
Now, he's ready to start putting his growing collection up for sale at his new store in north Fargo.
Big Yard Shop, 1910 1st Ave. N., will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4, taking the place of the former Cretex Cement office building that's been vacant for years and was built in 1950. New ownership group Cityscapes Development LLC tore down the large Cretex production building next door in late 2015.
When Alsadoun first started picking, he'd sometimes bring in his treasures to sell at at Now & Then Shoppe, a Fargo antique store at 1017 4th Ave. N. owned by his friend, Bader Alramadan. That's when his wife suggested he open his own store and focus on it as his own business.
The Iraqi-born Alsadoun came to the U.S. in 1995, living in Bismarck for five years before moving to Fargo in 2000, and he said he's since found a passion for American furniture and knickknacks that he hopes to share through his new store.
"I'll just kind of explore the tradition and culture of the USA and then North Dakota, too," he said.
Alsadoun said he likes clocks and phones—the kind of landline phones that were commonplace in homes and businesses until cellphones and smartphones became the norm—as well as furniture, antique metal wheels and old cream cans.
The store also has dishes, cookware, art, toys and more lining its shelves and displays.
It's a family business of sorts, and Alsadoun is getting help from his wife. He's also hired Kinda Alfatlawi as the store's manager.
Alfatlawi, who also was born in Iraq and has been in Fargo for about two years, said she's been fascinated by history ever since her father worked at a museum in Baghdad while she was growing up.
"We love it, and we see not many people interested in antique stuff," she said.
She hopes her work through the store can encourage others to find an interest in older things that connect us to history, she said.
It's a goal shared by her boss, Alsadoun. He said he came up with the business name, Big Yard Shop or simply BY Shop, because he was thinking the place would be like a yard sale but even bigger. He also just liked the name, he said.
"There is no story behind that," Alsadoun said about the name, "but I'm hoping there will be some history."
What: Big Yard Shop
Where: 1910 1st Ave. N., Fargo
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (701) 235-0999