Milford’s Olde Tyme Army Navy Store is on the market; discounts started this week

MILFORD – When “Chick” Goldberg went looking for a place to start an Army-Navy shop, he considered Nashua, Manchester and Boston, but a city wasn’t what he wanted.

So Goldberg headed west and when he got to Milford, he found what he was looking for.

That was in 1996. Now Goldberg, who is 73, is retiring and has put his Olde Tyme Army Navy Store on the market.

Being in Milford meant much less concern for security – no need for bars on the windows and doors – and a friendlier clientele, he said during a recent interview at his shop, amid displays of his new and used merchandise: commemorative pins and medals, paracord bracelets, camouflage gear, duffle bags, bomber hats and all kinds of hunting and camping equipment.

“I picked this town in the wilds of New Hampshire,” he said. “I didn’t want to worry about being robbed.”

Goldberg has been here so long, he sometimes sees three generations of customers, so long that he believes Olde Tyme is the second oldest business on the Milford Oval, after the Fish Bowl.

“It’s been a good mom and pop business,” he said.

“Mom” is his wife, Deborah Dumaine, who handles all the finances and who also drives down to Boston three days a week to her job at a law firm.

Dumaine is a major reason why Goldberg is retiring, he said, to spend more time with the woman he still calls his bride.

“I feel it’s time” to retire, he said, “I don’t want to drive to Stanford, Conn., to see a dealer and come home at 11 p.m.”

Chick’s first name is actually Toivo, and he grew up in Germany and came to the U.S. with his father when he was in his early teens. When he was in his 20s, he worked in the music business, managing and producing off-Broadway shows in the states, then he was back in Germany producing radio commercials and TV pilot films. In the 1980s, he was editor-in chief of a men’s fashion magazine called Looker.

But he grew tired of the ups and downs of those businesses. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, opportunities opened up for Goldberg and others who wanted to buy and sell military uniforms and equipment.

“This country has been good to me,” he said.

Olde Tyme’s going-out-of-business sale started Tuesday, Oct. 29, with 35 percent off everything and will continue for two months with discounts going up to 75 percent near the end of the sale.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or at kcleveland@cabinet.com.