The hidden antique toy store in Lowestoft

6:50 a.m. December 13, 2021

Tucked away behind a car park on Oulton Broad’s Bridge Road is a hidden antique toy store that is unique to the area.

From collectibles to vintage video games to funko pops, the store is a toy collector’s dream.

Twice Treasured, owned by Justin Lee and opened in March 2020 just before the first nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Lee has owned the store for a year and a half but is struggling due to the pandemic.
– Credit: Mick Howes

But the company has been struggling lately, due to the pandemic and its hidden location.

Mr. Lee, 42, believes the store offers something unique to the city.

He said: “I think we’re quite unique in the area and the people we meet really like the store.

“I used to own a moving and house cleaning business, but I decided to open the shop and follow my passion.

“I’ve always had a passion for collectible toys, so I bit the bullet and opened the shop.

“We welcome all kinds of people from all walks of life here who are interested in the products.”

twice precious

Twice Treasured owner Justin Lee in front of his store.
– Credit: Mick Howes

Although Mr. Lee enjoyed running the store and following his passion, he found it difficult to attract people to the store for various reasons.

“It was an absolute nightmare when we first entered detention,” Mr Lee said.

“As a new business, we weren’t eligible for any government funding and had to continue paying business rents even though we were closed.

“Lockdowns have proven difficult for us because we are such a new company.

“It’s hard to make a name for yourself when you’re in and out of lockdowns.”

mr lee retro video games

Mr. Lee standing next to retro video games.
– Credit: Mick Howes

Competition from larger retail outlets and business parks also proved to be a success for the store.

Mr Lee said: “A lot of big retailers are selling toys that for some people are more appealing.

“There’s definitely competition from large retail parks now, which often offer customers free parking.

“I encourage everyone to buy local and try to support small businesses like mine that are trying to offer that unique gap in the market.

“Not many people use the high street these days, so they also need some kind of incentive to get out.”

Mr. Lee

Mr. Lee encouraged people to buy local when they can.
– Credit: Mick Howes