Breathing new life

Paul and Janet White

Photo by Jordonna Lobese

Originally from Southern California, Paul and Janet White were in the bakery business. They owned one in Hemet for a while, before moving to Paradise and opening Paul’s Bakery on the Skyway, which they sold 25 years ago. And their love of antiques spans those 25 years. At long last, after Janet retired from her day job in 2014, the Whites made antiquing their livelihood by purchasing Déjà Vu Antiques. The store carries collectibles, repurposed items, and has an outdoor garden center. It’s home to more than 40 vendors who rent space, and each works a couple days a month—making it a co-op of sorts. Utilizing refinishing skills, both Paul and Janet mend, paint, stain and then sell their finished works. They first discovered those skills after a trip to Fort Bragg many years ago, when they bought a torn-apart table for $113. With a little bit of refinishing, they sold it for $795. They have an affinity for shabby chic and a love for French décor. Among the unique finds currently at Déjà Vu is a display by vendor David Wolfe of vintage cameras once owned by Dave Wallevand, of Dave’s Cameras, who passed away last January. Déjà Vu is located at 480 Pearson Road in Paradise.

How did you get to Paradise from Southern California?

Looking for somewhere peaceful to live and raise our children, we started looking in Grass Valley, and a friend suggested Paradise. We looked, and we love it here.

What are some reasons to shop vintage?

They don’t make furniture like they used to. This furniture is solid as a rock, not particle board; and our prices are very good. We have both indoor and outdoor items. One of our customers described us as “The Pottery Barn of Northern California.” Whatever you buy here you’ll love and have it for a very long time.

Who is your average customer?

All age groups. We have something for everyone. One thing we do here is Man’s Land, a space set aside for men, which offers bottles, tools, fishing reels and knives. The room in the back is a rustic room, and we sell plants and Christmas trees, too.

You have a lot of space. Any plans to expand?

We have 12,000 square feet outside for rent. We will be getting chicken coops, doghouses, and expanding on the garden. My daughter has a horticulture certificate and we have three licensed specialists for the back nursery. We need outdoor vendors.

Do you have a favorite booth?

There are just too many, and it’s always changing.

Any upcoming events?

In the past, we’ve done a Peddler’s Fair and a Craft Fair. We would like to do wine tasting.