Treasures in the Italian Market

Rosa Mesbahi and Tony Risolio pose by a sign in Good’s Vintage in the Italian Market. The store expanded to open another storefront two doors down on S. 9th Street. Photo/Mark Zimmaro
Rosa Mesbahi and Tony Risolio pose by a sign in Good’s Vintage in the Italian Market. The store expanded to open another storefront two doors down on S. 9th Street. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

It’s in with the old and out with the treasures.

For the last eight years, Good’s Vintage in the Italian Market has been one of the best-kept secrets as a place to find rare goodies that are unearthed from different corners of the country and brought to South Philly.

The pink cursive neon sign across the storefront of 1022 S. 9th St. reads “Treat Yourself.” And many do.

“It took about 5 or 6 years for people to really recognize us here and for us to feel like we made it work,” said shop manager Tony Risolio. “It’s nice that we were able to stay afloat online during the pandemic but it’s even better to have a successful storefront.”

They say you can never have too much of a good thing, so Good’s Vintage has doubled its size. July 1 marked an expansion as Good’s Vintage opened another storefront just two doors down on S. 9th Street, surrounding Taffets Artisan Bakery under the iconic red awnings along the heavily traveled road in the heart of the Italian Market.

The demand is high because Good’s Vintage offers things you can’t find anywhere else. 

“I don’t know many other vintage shops or jewelry shops that have a nice collection like ours,” said Rosa Mesbahi, who works sales and runs the social media for Good’s Vintage. “I think that’s what sets us apart from other vintage shops. And the vintage scene in Philadelphia is pretty poppin.”

The store is owned by antiques expert Keith Allibone who travels across much of the country’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, gathering vintage collectables. 

“He’s an antiques dealer who kind of grew up in the scene and started the business eight years ago,” Mesbahi said. “He’s on the road most days buying. He pulls everything and we price it and display it.”

Good’s Vintage in the Italian Market offers treasures that have been gathered by store owner Keith Allibone, who travels across the country seeking rare items. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

The store attracts dealers, who want to restore and flip products. But it also caters to personal collectors and people who are just trying to find something special. Allibone seeks out sellers on the internet and spends most of his time stocking the 400-square foot storefront, which has now doubled.

“Keith comes across some really unique stuff when he’s on the road and he really has a trained eye,” Risolio said. “His father was an antiques dealer so he’s been around the business ever since he was a kid. He knows it when he sees it.”

Allibone regularly finds Tiffany and Co. antiques, which can yield a nice profit if it finds the right buyer. And that’s where the store’s reputation comes in handy. Buyers know there are always prizes in the store or online at Good’s Vintage’s eBay or Etsy stores.

Sometimes a huge sale comes basically out of nowhere, like the time Mesbahi sold a Tiffany’s black opal stickpin.

“I showed up one day in a muscle T-shirt and boxer shorts and made a $3,500 sale,” she said with a laugh. “That was pretty crazy. I’ve only been here a little over a year now so every time I make a big sale I still get heart palpitations and freak out a little bit. But that one was special.”

Things like that sell at high value, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Photo/Mark Zimmaro

“We don’t stock anything or repeat anything,” Risolio said. “If you see it while it’s here, you get it while it’s here.”

Good’s original storefront, which replaced a barbershop, built momentum in its first five years and navigated its way through the pandemic by continuing to sell online while the store was forced to close for six months. Now free of in-person restrictions, sales have boomed. 

“We really picked up after coming back from the pandemic,” Risolio said. “When we opened back up, we had gotten busier than we ever had been, which really helped us expand the team and think about what we wanted to do. There was really a pop when we opened back up. I guess people had more money to spend.”

Items like antique lamps, coins and rare Native American necklaces are just some of the finds on display after being greeted by a friendly staff. 

Now, a second location, just a few paces past the bakery, offers even more.

“It’s a little more curated of a vibe over there,” Risolio said. “We’re trying to hone in the styles over there but it’s fun. It’s eclectic and has a lot of things to look at.”