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BROADBENT’S HAS A LOT IN STORE FOR AREA SHOPPERS

SHARE BROADBENT’S HAS A LOT IN STORE FOR AREA SHOPPERS

There aren't too many family businesses that are more than 100 years old and sell everything from furniture and jewelry to candy and baby clothes.

There is one in Lehi, though. Broadbent and Son general merchandise store is 108 years old and sells almost everything you can think of. It has a clientele of people from all over northern and central Utah.At the turn of the century, Broadbent's used to advertise items for "your best girl, for your only fellow, for mother, father, for everybody." Owners John and Alice Broadbent said things haven't changed much. Broadbent's still has a wide range of merchandise.

Some unusual items in the store are a buxom mannequin made out of wood and padding, an antique stove, an old coffee mill, an antique cash register and a traditional candy counter.

"We are unique," said Alice Broadbent. "I don't know if anyone else in the United States can boast about something like this. We buy merchandise from all over the world. We've been in business a long time and we know where to buy certain things."

The store was officially started in 1883 by Joseph and Sarah Broadbent, who traveled to the United States from England in the 1850s and settled in Lehi. They crossed the plains with an LDS handcart company.

"When they first arrived here they thought they'd be farmers, but they tried it out for six or seven years and quit. It just didn't rain here like it did in England," said John Broadbent, who is a grandson of Joseph and Sarah.

Broadbent said it was then that his grandfather began to repair watches and clocks belonging to people from all over the valley. His wife, Sarah, sewed and repaired overalls. The jewelry business was the family's first endeavor. Joseph Broadbent started out making gold wedding rings from gold pieces. The family soon added other types of merchandise to the store.

John and Alice Broadbent now run the store along with their three children. Even their grandchildren take part.

Several years ago Broadbent's also advertised that they play music "all day long." John Broadbent said he was put in charge of running the gramophone when he was a boy.

"We still follow through with the tradition of sewing for people," said Alice. Her granddaughters sew Christmas stockings and other goods for customers.

Broadbent's also was a millinery business. The Broadbents still have some antique hats and canes. John Broadbent said he remembers picking up boxes full of hats with his father in their Model T Ford truck.

The store used to sell merchandise on tables marked 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents and 25 cents. John said he remembers being put in charge of the 5-cent table when he was 7 years old.

Broadbent's is at 128 N. 100 East in Lehi.