Is it a coffee shop? Is it a furniture store? No — it’s both. Into the Void, located at 117 Brunswick Street in Jersey City, is a unique business that consists of a café at the front of the shop and a completely unique and exhilarating vintage furniture and decor shop in the back. The brains behind the operation are co-owners Andy Schulz and Greg Yannalfo. They named the shop after the Black Sabbath song. “The Void” they are referring to in this case is the life of the items in their shop. There’s so much history to every item that comes through the shop, some going back to the 1920s, and they are all sent back out into the world for a new life. There’s a sort of exciting mystery to it all, as they keep living on beyond what Andy and Greg will see. The business just celebrated its first year in business. Read on to learn all about the journey that brought Into The Void to life, and what the future may hold.
About the Owners
Co-owner of Into the Void Andy Schulz, originally from Illinois, moved to Jersey in 1995 and has spent his adult life living in the New York Metropolitan area ever since. Growing up, he was surrounded by antiques and vintage clothing. His grandmother owned an antique shop in Nyack, NY and his uncle was a picker and collector. Andy and his brother used to love going to vintage and thrift stores to shop for clothes when they were younger, primarily because they didn’t want to look like everyone else. All of this has transformed his personal taste into what it is today, and that taste is very much on display at Into the Void.
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Some people seem to be born with an entrepreneurial mind, and Andy Schulz is one of those people. Having had a slew of different jobs throughout his adult life, most recently in the coffee industry, he’s been able to gain a lot of different experiences that gave him insight into running a successful business. From 2010 to 2014, Andy owned a coffee shop in Brooklyn, which is where he got into the art of specialty coffees. When it came time to start a new venture with his business partner Greg Yannalfo — AKA “phone call guy”, they decided to combine two of their favorite things, and the only two things Andy claims to know how to do — really good coffee and cool vintage decor.
“Everybody loves coffee — and we realized that if we could have the coffee portion in front of the shop, and have it be an anchor for the business, then people — regardless of if they were shopping for a sofa or a piece of art — would still have a good reason to come visit the shop,” explains Andy. “It felt like an easier draw to have someone walk in the door for a cup of coffee or croissant than for a big beautiful chair.”
About the Shop
And there lies the genius of it all: the small purchase opens up the door to a larger purchase. It also helps that the vintage furniture portion lends to an exciting environment for the coffee shop portion. Customers of the café can continuously have a change of scenery, as there are always pieces being sold and new items taking their place. Don’t get it twisted: this isn’t a gimmick. Andy takes an immense amount of pride in both sectors of the business. He puts a lot of time into staying dialed into what he and his co-owner think is both great coffee and great vintage decor.
You don’t go to Into the Void looking for something specific — you let Into the Void tell you what you will be purchasing that day. Andy describes the shop as “a store full of statement pieces,” because each item is a showstopper. The furniture and decor is super funky and unique, a lot of it is rare or one-of-a-kind, or just plain old wacky and wild. It skews mostly modern, with a lot of pieces from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.
What You’ll Find
Into The Void is a “space where you can find something that you didn’t know you needed, that you can’t find anywhere else,” Andy told HG. He personally picks out each item that is displayed, making sure it fits within his vision for the shop, looking “literally everywhere.” From piles of “trash” on the street, to garage sales and estate sales, and auction houses, Andy is constantly looking for new, exciting pieces that catch his eye. He’s looking for items that he deems cool.
“The shop is built piece by piece. I don’t buy for trends. I don’t necessarily buy what I think will sell. I buy items that are interesting and engaging. If I run out of coffee tables, I can’t order more coffee tables. I have to find them, but I don’t know where they are. There’s this whole sense of adventure in the buying process that is truthfully my favorite part of the business that brings me the most joy.”
Where does Andy get his eye for design? He has no idea. It’s something that has always been inside him. He’s an art school dropout but doesn’t have any formal training in design. The shop is built around his personal taste and what he would want in his home, or what he fantasizes about having in his home.
Andy hopes to one day outgrow their current 1800-square-foot retail space. He would love to have a larger space where he can have several of similar items available for purchase, and have room for a larger selection of vintage finds. For now, though, the space is serving him and Greg quite nicely. They aim to offer “great prices on expensive stuff,” and are actively trying to put out rare and unique pieces at attainable prices.
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Into the Void is located at 117 Brunswick Street in Jersey City. The spot is open 7:30AM to 3PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7:30AM to 6PM Thursdays and Fridays, 8AM to 6PM Saturdays and Sundays, and is closed on Mondays. You can see current pieces in the shop on their Instagram profile, @intothevoidantiques.