EASTHAM — Tellis Dion isn’t always sure what he wants when he comes to Cape Cod. But he knows that whatever it is he will find it at Buddha Bobs.
Tellis, age seven, has amassed a Buddha Bobs collection he displays at home in Northampton, says his mom, Adrian Dion.
“It is my favorite store,” he says, showing off arrowheads and mineral stones of various sizes and shapes found during recent browsing.
Tellis is not the only one who makes a beeline to this little rock shop on Route 6.
“Jewelry, antiques, anything goes here,” says Abby Finan, who co-owns the place with her husband, Ryan Arline. “As long as it has good vibes and no crazy prices,” she adds, revealing the couple’s retail vision: “We want it to be an oasis in a tourist trap.”
What the low-slung building lacks in curb appeal it makes up for in variety. There are gleaming gold Buddhas of various sizes and a 10-foot-tall Bigfoot in the parking lot. The inside is crammed with baskets of shiny stones and massive chunks of amethyst. Stalagmites of bric-a-brac stack up in every corner. It’s like going to a yard sale in a Himalayan salt cave.
Here you are likely to find everything from the practical (cast-iron skillets and planters) to the decorative (paintings and sculptures) to the really random (an electric horoscope machine).
Finan inherited the business from her parents, Henry “Bob” Finan and Betsy Pelletier, who were both antiques dealers. They sold at the Wellfleet Flea Market and drove by the building for years. One day in 2009 they saw that it was vacant.
“My mom walked in and talked to the owners and signed a lease,” Finan says. “They figured it would be easier than loading and unloading the car at the flea market all the time.”
The building, built in 1928, has had many lives. Most famously, it was Jasper’s Surf Shop for 40 years beginning in the 1960s. Jasper’s owner Mike Houghton stuck surf boards in sand that he poured on the floor, Finan says. What is sold there now, including antiques from estate sales and tons (literally) of crystals, is not surfing-related.
“But we try to keep the vibe,” Finan says.
When she and her husband took over the store in 2017, they added minerals and gems to the antiques and secondhand finds. At the moment, massive logs of selenite are stacked on the floor behind a crystal-laden dory in the back.
“Selenite is such a workhorse in the crystal world,” says Finan. Thought to have detoxifying powers, the milk-colored mineral is not that expensive or rare, though other sellers jack up the price, said Arline. At Buddha Bobs, you can buy a log of selenite for $200, and a large hunk of amethyst for about $1,000.
Mel Buttero says she makes a stop at Buddha Bobs whenever she’s on her way from Brewster to Provincetown. She comes for the prices. “Best prices on the Cape,” she says.
Nora Slavin, who lives in South Yarmouth, says Buddha Bobs is her adult daughter’s favorite store. “She is into gems and minerals,” says Slavin. “Whenever she comes to visit me, this is always her first stop.”
If you want to learn about the powers of a particular rock or the provenance of a bathtub Madonna on display, Arline, 34, and Finan, 38, will go there with you. Tucked behind display cases, at least one of them is at the cash register seven days a week from April to Jan. 2. They talk about their merchandise with every shopper who asks and with an evident love of all things perhaps once-treasured and now cast away.
A giant Buddha with his arms flung over his head came from a Chinese restaurant and is at least 50 years old. Arline said someone asks to buy it every day, and the answer is always no. Bigfoot, who is thought to have spent time on a mini golf course, is also not for sale.
“He is an Eastham resident now,” Arline said.