By Jesse Robitaille
Brampton, Ont.’s B & W Coins and Tokens has changed hands following the retirement of its founder Willard Burton.
The storefront, located at 345 Queen St. W., closed briefly during the transition but re-opened on June 1 under the ownership of dealer Stan Kipa, 51, with the help of fellow dealer Oliver Macinski.
“The store has an excellent strategic location, and it should do very well,” said Kipa, who has previously sold bullion under his other business, Swiss Silver, and added Macinski will assist with “organizing, logistics and knowledge” for the new business.
The Toronto-based auction house Auction Network purchased B & W Coins and Tokens’ inventory, which it estimated at about $500,000. A five-day liquidation sale was held on May 24-28; however, winning bid amounts were undisclosed.
“We are not taking one penny or one piece of past inventory,” said Kipa. “It’ll be totally fresh inventory and a totally fresh approach.”
Kipa said his plans for the business include more than operating a mere storefront.
“We plan to expand and create a competitive environment for customers, collectors and dealers alike,” he said, adding there are also plans to “expand into the Internet” to broaden the company’s customer base. “We plan to revamp the website, but there are many many things to take care of first.”
He also said there are plans to begin selling material via eBay, adding the Internet has changed the way people – collectors and dealers included – do business.
“There are lots of people looking on the Internet for everything, not just numismatics,” said Kipa, who has experience in buying and selling Bitcoin, which is one of many cryptocurrencies. “Some of the numismatic offerings, especially world coins and world notes, they are fairly difficult to sell in a store, so to speak.”
The new owner also said the building will undergo several security upgrades following a robbery at the store earlier this spring.
“It was not so secure from my point of view, but it will be soon.”
Kipa has been collecting bullion and other numismatic material for nearly 20 years, throughout which time he also ventured into dealing.
“I only recently geared towards numismatic collections and such,” he said, adding most dealers focus on shows before owning a store. “Me, so to speak, I’ve been focusing on the Internet, and to now take over an existing coin shop is my dream. My knowledge has broadened up, so it’s a perfect set of circumstances.”
Burton said he established the business as B & W Coins in 1994, when he was a regular fixture of bourse floors across Canada and in the U.S.
“Then I took on a partner and in 1996 changed the name to B & W Coins and Tokens,” he said, adding the business was located in Norval, Ont. until 2008, when they moved to Brampton. “This was the 10th year of our lease.”
Burton, 79, said he has enjoyed his more than 20 years in the numismatic business but wants to take more time to enjoy the hobby.
“It just got to the point with my age where the commitment in the store is not as nice as just being in the coin business, without all the bookkeeping and extra work,” said Burton, whose personal collection is vast and includes, among many things, an extensive selection of colonial tokens.
“I can still enjoy the hobby without having a demand on my time. And I certainly have enjoyed it, but now I’m going to have a relaxing time and take care of a few bucket-list items.”
Originally from Cape Breton, N.S., Burton was vice president of Loomis Courier before becoming vice president of Midland Courier in New Brunswick. He has four children, each of who now live in Halifax.
For more information, visit bwcoin.com.