An antiques store is more than a place to shop; it's a museum of sorts where each item tells a story.

Strolling the hardwood floors of Antiques Etcetera on Main Street, you come across furniture, paintings, sculptures, toys, books and fixtures, and each one reflects its unique moment in history.

"I appreciate nostalgia, but it's an aesthetic for me," said Sherry Lary, who owns the business with her husband, Bob. "I buy it if it moves me emotionally."

"I love the hunt," said Bob. "It's discovering something someone else misses."

The two have been running antiques businesses for more than 40 years. Sherry started with a shop in Dexter in her 20s. She and Bob later had shops in the Old Orchard Beach area and in Cornish.

They later moved to Friendship, where they ran a small seasonal antiques business, but when the building at 607 Main St. in Rockland became available, Bob wanted to jump back into running a larger store.

"We can't retire," he said. "It's in our blood."

The building, which is just across the street from Wasses Hotdogs, is leased from Everett Spear, and has a view of the waterfront. In fact, Bob and Sherry put a pair of binoculars in the window for customers to use to look out at the scenery. The structure formerly housed Quilt Divas and Spear's Lumber. The couple had one interior wall removed to create a larger open space where 22 antiques dealers, including themselves, do business.

The business opened in October, and Bob joked that it takes "10 days a week."

Many of the items are found at yard and garage sales, and antiques dealers are often called to help when people are managing the estate of a loved one who has recently passed away. He said he has participated in antiques auctions, but prefers to deal with people he buys from individually.

It has been an interesting journey for the couple. Bob has been a singer and bass player in a number of bands over the years. He said he was supposed to be a music teacher, but there was no money in that. Sherry, in starting her original store, had also sold natural food and imported items. They raised a family as they managed their various businesses and now have three grown sons and four grandchildren.

Bob noted that there have been ups and downs in the antiques business. During the great recession, the market for antiques seemed to collapse. Now, he said, there is strong interest, especially among young adults starting to establish their own families, in items and furnishings from the mid-20th century.

To check out the items ranging from vintage chandeliers and a sea captain's chest to pianos and old wooden sleds, visit Antiques Etcetera, open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.