October 15, 2018
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Treasure Hunt

Owner discovers passion for saving salvage through new store
T.J. and Tammy Trem operate Salvage Candy, which also sells pieces of Tammy’s mosaic artwork.

When Tammy Trem lost her job at Mead Johnson Nutrition in 2011, the Evansville resident decided it was time to start doing what she loved.

The longtime artist began to focus on creating and selling her mosaic artwork, and accumulating inventory for a future architectural salvage store in Evansville. In September 2014, Trem and her husband T.J. opened a vintage decor architectural salvage store called Salvage Candy, located at 1413 W. Florida St. in the center entrance of the Wright Steel Warehouse Building. Salvage Candy sells vintage furniture pieces, window frames, doors, mantels, and chairs from the 1840s to the 1960s.

“It felt like the most natural thing to me in the world,” says Trem. “It’s hard to believe I make money doing this. I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.

“I always did administrative computer work since I first started working, which I hate. It’s the polar opposite of what I want to do.”

Trem says she likes to see the physical results of working with her hands — creating a piece of artwork or upcycling used furniture and making it like new again. Salvage Candy’s customers are the same, she says.

“I call them my tribe. We all think alike. We all love old things,” says Trem. “We all love the history of old things. We love touching old things and feeling its past in it. We love saving things from the landfill. If you can make it into something else, that’s what we love to do.”

Her typical client often is renovating an older home, using Pinterest to create crafty home décor, or collectors looking for a rare item. Salvage Candy obtains its inventory through purchasing items brought to the store, through trade, and by sending a crew to clean out dilapidated homes.

In January, the store will move to a new location at 3500 S. Weinbach Ave., just past the Interstate 69 overpass. One factor that led to their decision to relocate is because she will be able to heat the new building in the winter — something she can’t do in the current warehouse which forces her to close during the cold months.

“I think people will be really happy,” says Trem. “It’ll be bigger and there won’t be anyone else around me. There is room for landscaping and 21 acres to store things outside, too.”

For more information about Salvage Candy, call 812-484-2143 or visit its Facebook page.

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