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August 21, 2017 1:21 PM

Makanda Trading Company

Makanda Trading Company opened its doors inside the old H.L. Bell building on Makanda’s boardwalk in 2001 and people have been trying to figure out this place ever since. Apparently, that was pretty much owner Brian Beverly’s business plan. Beverly has no interest in selling ordinary things people find in ordinary stores. Need a 1970s mood ring? How about a giant crystal bowl that sings? Need a brass elephant from India? Raw gemstones? How about an ancient Roman coin? Hand-carved masks from Guatemala? Endless varieties of imported incense? A miniature corn-cob pipe? Perhaps you’d like a 200-lb. pillar of petrified wood that washed out of the earth during the 2004 Indonesian tidal wave?

As a boy Beverly dreamed of someday owning one of those old-fashioned, general-merchandise emporiums that seems to have everything a customer could ever want. He saw potential in the nostalgic atmosphere of Makanda’s boardwalk and opened a shop. And he knew where to obtain truly unique merchandise. Each year this global traveler visits places like Burma, India and Peru to meet directly with the merchants and craftsmen who make things he wants to add to his store’s already curious inventory. He skips the mainstream markets where tourists find common souvenirs. He comes back to Makanda with undiscovered products even he never imagined he would buy and puts them on the shelves of Makanda Trading Company, a truly curious shop where people are still trying to figure it all out.