In The News

"Antiques Store Owner Delights in Their Beauty and History"
By Esther Trneny (Open Post)
The Patch
April 11, 2011

A love of antiques honed at an early age defines a lifetime of choices for Alfred Brazil of Alfred's of Barrington Consignments.

Alfred Brazil's love of antiques began at a very young age. It continues today for the owner of Alfred's of Barrington Consignments at 18 Maple Ave.

The son of Azorean immigrants, his parents were from St Michael's, Brazil was not afraid of hard work. At the age of 12, he began working as a stock boy at the former Maryann's Gift Shop that was located on the corner of Wood and State streets in Bristol.

Around the same time, Brazil's uncle secured a job for him with Bristolian Robert W. Nelson, a placement that would later play an important part in the young man's life.

While working at Maryann's Gift Shop, Brazil was introduced to the subtleties and beauty of antiques.  Under his employer's tutelage, he developed an appreciation and love for fine furniture and collectibles that would guide and define his life.

Brazil's parents, mom Agnes and dad Alfred, a wire worker at the former Kaiser Aluminum company, encouraged Alfred to go to college. So, Brazil dutifully started studying business at Roger Williams.

It didn't take long for Brazil to realize that college "wasn't for me," so the young entrepreneur left academia behind and started his first antique store in Bristol, on the corner of Wood and Union streets.

Brazil moved his store to Hope Street a few years later. In 1974, when Brazil was just 22, he bought the building where his Bristol business is located, at 331 Hope St., and turned his business into both gifts and antiques.

Running his business suited Brazil just fine, and the next step on his path was a home of his own. That early connection of almost 20 years before now made its mark. Brazil bought The Talbot House, located at 647 Hope St., Bristol, from Robert W. Nelson. Brazil is only the second owner of the historic property, originally built in 1838.

As a bonus, Brazil was also able to acquire some of the beautiful antique furniture and accessories within the home and, since 1980, he has enjoyed living in this graceful residence.

Although his early mentor, Maryann Silvia, died the year after he bought the Nelson home, Brazil remains grateful to her for her support and guidance.

"It was a dream that I wanted, and I was able to have that dream thanks to Maryann's guidance," he said.

Brazil's restless feet didn't stop moving, however. As someone who "likes to be on the road and talking to people, not just sitting there," Brazil said, he continued to grow his business, relishing the chance to discover new treasures and make new connections.

That spirit led Brazil to Barrington six years ago. The Stock Exchange had closed, and he sensed a niche that needed to be filled.

Brazil opened Alfred's Consignments in 2005, and quickly became a fixture in the town.

Brazil characterized the decision to open the Barrington location as a fairly easy one, given that many of the visitors to his Bristol location lived in Barrington anyway.

"It's been very good," he said. "Barrington people are very, very welcoming. They love the business, and I love them."

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