Janet McCartney Grimmett’s roots run deep in James City County (JCC). Her grandfather started the first telephone company in Toano. Her father grew up at Riverview Plantation. Her parents married at Olivet Branch Christian Church, and Grimmett attended Norge Elementary and Lafayette High.
“My childhood home was full of antiques because daddy was a picker,” Grimmett says. Her father refinished antiques and sold them at his store in Toano. He sold fish there too, as he was a commercial fisherman.
Grimmett lived in Williamsburg until moving to Austin, Texas. She remembers in 2001, she was in a small, twin-engine Piper plane, returning to Austin from a business trip. “It was my first time in a small plane and my last,” she says. Three hours into the trip, the plane’s engine was sputtering. The pilot headed toward a small airport to refuel and missed his target landing site. “He said he was going to land on the highway,” Grimmett says of the pilot just before she lost consciousness.
As a result of the accident, Grimmett has two plates and 45 screws in her head. Her back was broken in three places, compressing her spinal cord. “Doctors said I would never move from my waist down,” she says. At the time, she was a single mother of Brittany (10) who cared for her in recovery.
After months in a Texas hospital, Grimmett moved to Richmond to stay with her sister Donna’s family. “I kept saying I should have died,” she says. “One day Donna said, ‘Well, you didn’t die and it’s time to get up.’”
After rehab, she began walking and living again. She went to work as a bookkeeper for the owner of Paul’s Place Antiques and Architectural Salvage. Three years later, she opened her shop in Mechanicsville. She sourced merchandise from construction-site dumpsters, homeowners and neighborhood revitalizations.
When Grimmett’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer, she moved back to Toano to help care for him. At the time, the Chestnutt family ran The Farmhouse store (a 1922-era house) on Route 60, offering crafts, unfinished furniture and flags. A landmark for this establishment, an oversized, yellow chair, was built by a Gloucester man in the early ’70s. The place was empty so she leased it.
Lucky Junque opened in June 2018 after three months of cleaning, painting and filling the shop with merchandise. The house has a basement, first floor, second floor and an attic. Grimmett brought in three sheds and uncovered the 7,000-square-foot barn in back. The shop also rents space to vendors upstairs.
Because Lucky Junque is a small family-owned/woman-owned business, there’s a personal atmosphere, aided by Grimmett and her staff, Jeni Webb and Brooke Ramey. “I love it here,” says Webb, two-year employee and family friend. “It’s amazing to learn so much about so many little things.”
Lucky Junque is filled with merchandise. One can find old kitchen utensils, glassware, a variety of antiques, lighting, D.I.Y. products and local treasures including honey and goats’ milk soap. Grimmett sources items from auctions, estate sales, flea markets and people coming in with family heirlooms. She received items from the 2016 renovation of colonial-era Carter’s Grove Plantation, including two doors.
“I’m drawn to pieces that bring good childhood memories,” she says. “When visitors say, ‘it’s like walking down memory lane,’ it confirms why I do what I do.”
On October 7, Lucky Junque’s 4th Annual Vintage Market takes place, drawing 1,500 annually. Grimmett raises approximately $1,000 for a local nonprofit. In preparation for the event, volunteers collect raffle prizes, baskets and gift certificates from individuals and businesses. The market features food trucks, live bands, a field full of vendors and a car club cruise-in at an adjacent field. This year’s market supports Proclaiming Grace Outreach, serving New Kent County and upper JCC. The nonprofit runs a food pantry, repairs cars for the elderly and operates a thrift store.
Lucky Junque is a 2023 Nextdoor Neighborhood Fave and was a 2019 winner of Coastal Virginia’s Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Interior Design/Best Consignment Store on the Virginia Peninsula.
Today, Grimmett enjoys spending time with daughter Brittany’s family including her three children: Avaree (10), Elijah (9) and Gabriel (1) and her husband, a custom tile worker. They are homesteaders, raising chickens, beekeeping, gathering honey and gardening.
Grimmett’s favorite vacations are to the Outer Banks, the mountains in the fall and traveling throughout Central and Eastern Virginia; always hunting for the next pick.
TO THE POINT:
Address: 7787 Richmond Rd., Toano, VA, 23168
Phone: 804-299-8110, 757-741-2999
Contact: Janet Grimmett, owner