Treasures to find at Cardinal Collectibles.
As time passes, people come and go. Often, their belongings are left behind—living on after their owners have long passed. So much history is captured in things forgotten. Only those with a certain eye can see the potential in what so many people would throw away. John LaBadia has that eye. A Bloomfield native, LaBadia grew up with a mother who taught him the value of antiques. Today, buying, selling and repurposing items of the past has become a family business for LaBadia and his clan.
Cardinal Collectibles is an antique business that was born, and continues to grow, quite naturally. Both LaBadia and his wife had a knack for collecting. “It was almost by accident that we got into this business. We have a lot of fun at these state shows and auctions,” said LaBadia. “We were accumulating all this stuff so we had a few house sales. Now we have our own spot.” With the help of his wife and three children, Cardinal Collectibles now stands in the Antique Emporium in Asbury Park.
LaBadia sells the treasures he finds as well as his original, hand-made work. Outside of the Antique Emporium, Cardinal Collectibles can be found at events like the Somerville Art Show. LaBadia’s presence in the Asbury community has granted him customers from California to Chicago.
The Cardinal Collectibles owner sees the future in discarded items that other people just don’t see. “We sell a lot of things we buy at state sales and we make a lot from reclaimed wood,” said LaBadia. “To me, it would be a shame to toss 130 year old pieces of wood torn from an old building. I don’t like to see that stuff get scrapped.” Instead of tossing what LaBadia knows as perfectly good material, he fashions items that people still need in their home. Bar stools, end tables and coffee tables are a few examples of the things some say LaBadia makes out of nothing.
Cardinal Collectibles has been located in Asbury Park for twelve years. A native to the area, the owner feels a personal connection to his home. “I love being here,” said LaBadia. “Sometimes it looks like old times. I would come out here with friends all the time in high school. There is such a great art and music scene. Asbury has seen some hard times so it’s nice to see it come back. You see people on the street and it’s a good feeling. Asbury has such a great vibe to it.”
Today, Cardinal Collectibles will continue to run from its current location at the Antique Emporium in Asbury Park. With plans to continue at state shows and art events, LaBadia nurtures the family business he never saw coming. For more information about Cardinal Collectibles visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/CardinalCollectibles/.