Ronald Higgins and Adam Krutko have spent several years redecorating their home with midcentury furniture. Their passion for vintage furniture became a driving force for a new store making its debut in downtown Akron this weekend.

Sweet Modern will open its doors Saturday at 2 N. Summit St., near the Akron Art Museum and Summit Artspace. Its grand opening celebration from 2 to 9 p.m. will partly coincide with Akron Artwalk, a showcase of the downtown arts scene that takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. the first Saturday of each month.

The store's main showroom includes finished pieces of furniture and decor from the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Once a customer picks out a piece, it will be inspected and repaired as needed.

"We want people to fall in love," Higgins said in a news release. "When you come into the store, we want you to discover a piece that speaks to you — one that you cannot live without."

He added that part of the appeal of midcentury furniture is its quality and durability.

"These pieces were made from real wood in a time when craftsmanship mattered," he said.

Krutko said the two have traveled thousands of miles across the Midwest and Northeast to seek out furnishings, and they've been selling pieces online for the past several months.
 
"The hunt becomes addicting," he said. "There is nothing like finding a long forgotten piece and knowing that you can give it another life."

Sweet Modern's opening is part of phase four of the Downtown Akron Partnership's pop-up retail program, with the Hudson-based Burton D. Morgan Foundation helping to pay the rent for six months. The program and its community and foundation partners have worked with 34 businesses — including vendors in downtown storefronts and the Northside Marketplace — since its inception in 2015. The startups are encouraged to set down roots in the city after the launch support.   

The store's December hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visits can also be arranged most weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling ahead at 330-923-9230, and a selection of inventory can be seen online at sweetmodern.com.