Business deal becomes long-distance friendship

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure.

But what happens when the treasure you want is located around the globe?

Chuck McNett is the owner of The Grainery. An antique shop in Payson, Illinois.

"We go to hundreds of auctions a year, we travel a three, four hour radius around the Payson community and go to several auctions a week," McNett said.

Word has gotten out about the local antique shop and that word has spread all the way to Japan attracting a man named Gumm, who first found out about the shop online and has been a customer ever since.

"I think four -- five years ago, eBay, look eBay," Gumm said.

Gumm first purchased eight doors from the Grainery and to McNett's surprise, flew from Japan to pick them up and see what else the antique shop had to offer.

McNett says his antiques are very popular with the international community.

"We're able to buy many of the things they're interested in that you can find around the Midwest and it's the type of thing that they have a niche for over in Japan," McNett said.

So what is it that has Gumm flying all the way from Japan to Central Illinois?

"Frames, globes, lighting fixtures, ya, everything," he admitted.

Since buying those doors more than five years ago, McNett and Gumm have turned a partnership into a friendship.

"We're very thankful for Gumm, we're thankful for the friendship that we've had with him over the years and it just continues to grow stronger, not just in a business sense where he's buying more and more from us, but also in a sense where we're developing this bond where our families know each other," McNett said.

Gumm says the whole trip usually takes him about two to three months to complete.

Story by KHQA Multimedia Jounalist Jack Pluta.