Have you ever ordered from a restaurant’s secret menu that only the true diehard fans of that restaurant even know about? It’s a satisfying feeling to be in on all the secret items and to then share that intel with people who you know will appreciate those rarities one in the same. We call these diehards, members of the Off the Menu Club.
Let’s move this concept to a larger scale and talk about how every town, whether big or small, has its own “secret menu”— those places that aren’t well-known but are worth the effort in finding. Many of these places or services have been around for years, yet, haven’t found their way to being a mainstream attraction. Until now…
Welcome to Hidden Gems: the not-so-secret series. Throughout our posts within Hidden Gems, we will be uncovering the buried treasures Downtown Bellefontaine has to offer and letting you in on the secret fortunes that have earned our small town such a title of the “most lovable” in all Ohio. We’re starting our own club, the Off the Map Club, and we are excited for you to be an official member.
And so, our quest begins at Olde Mint Antiques.
Olde Mint Antiques is exactly as the name suggests: an antique mall. To steal a line from the Little Mermaid, it’s got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. As the one of few antique malls within a 20-mile radius of Bellefontaine, it’s a must-stop shop. This three-story building is bursting with any and every kind of antique item you can imagine.
With antiques being their own kind of treasures within themselves, you might be asking what makes Olde Mint a stop on our Hidden Gems journey? The answer: the second story of the historically significant building that is dedicated to books.
Stacked from floor to ceiling with 8000+ books, this story is every Reading Rainbow fans’ dream. From fact to fiction, to fantasies and fairytales, it’s the bookstore tourists and locals alike dream of finding in a small downtown like Bellefontaine. With hours’ worth of a good time and great reads, we couldn’t think of a better first find on our quest.
Owner, Beth Arnold, is a literary genius and your perfect guide to help find exactly the book you’re searching for. Her expertise makes her the kind of resource you don’t get access to at just any other bookstore. The icing on top of the cake is that buying books from Olde Mint is shopping small and supporting local.
This is buried treasure that keeps on giving.
Though it’s not tucked away or hidden on a secret menu, the Olde Mint Antiques’ bookstore is off-the-map gold. Sometimes the most valuable treasures are the ones right in front of you.
Now, as a member of the Off the Map Club, you can have the satisfactory in telling others about downtown Bellefontaine’s finest bookstore and continue to spread the wealth. You know what they say, gems can’t shine unless they’re moved to the light.