Jim and Laurie Todd got the idea for their new business last fall, as they prepared for the Christmas season.

In order to have a good Christmas, Jim said, they had gone to a pawn shop with a number of items. The shop didn’t accept half of the items they brought, Jim said, and they saw another customer there who had a similar experience.

When they got home, the Todds talked about their experience. They decided to open a shop of their own, and their original plan was to operate a pawn shop. While waiting for a pawning license, however, they found that they were getting good business as just a buy/sell/trade shop. Soon, they decided that would be enough for the business to succeed.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Jim.

Their store, J&L Trading Post, opened for business on Feb. 1. The Todds decided to wait awhile before holding an open house event, which has now been scheduled for Saturday, April 3.

“We figured we’d wait until better weather for that,” said Jim.

The store, at this point, features a little bit of everything — from DVDs to dolls, from tools to toys. Jim said their buy/sell/trade approach works well, especially for people who don’t have the cash to purchase something outright.

“Some people see something they like, and they don’t have the cash, so they go home and get something to trade toward the purchase price,” he said.

The Todds said they will sometimes put items on hold for customers, and they plan to offer layaway as the Christmas season gets closer.

This Saturday, the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Grand opening festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with drawings for door prizes being held every hour and hot dogs and hamburgers available from 11 a.m. to noon.

J&L Trading Post is located at 26 Searsport Avenue (Route 1). They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They are open by chance on Sunday. To contact the store, call 338-5505 or e-mail jlpawn@myfairpoint.net.