By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Need to shake up your life? The Twin Cities is host to a unique collectors convention this weekend. This is the 32nd year of the Novelty Salt and Pepper Shakers Club.

“Everybody collects something it’s just what you like to collect,” Jim Oswald, host of the club’s Minnesota chapter said.

Each year like-minded collectors from around the world come together for the annual convention. And as WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle found out, there’s a whole lot of shaking going on.

salt and pepper shakers Collectors Shake It Up At Salt & Pepper Shakers Convention

(credit: CBS)

The convention is held in a different city each year. It’s where nearly 200 gather to talk shakers.

“Salt and pepper shakers by no means are what you see on the table, the Tupperware ones. What we’re doing, this is more art,” Oswald said.

And members can shop for that art. Collectors transform hotel rooms into stores.

From the Beatles to boats, there’s something for everyone.

“A lot of collectors go from just collecting to dealing whether on a small scale or a large scale. I’ve been known as the salt and pepper man and I’ve bought anywhere from 50 to 10,000 sets,” Larry Carey, a collector from Pennsylvania said.

Carey has even co-authored books about shakers. Prices range from a buck to in the thousands.

Club members are from all over the world.

“I have a complete suitcase full of shakers to bring back to Belgium,” Vernoequa Verbist said.

Besides shopping there are large scale shaker competitions, auctions and even a costume contest to dress like a shaker.

salt and pepper shaker costume contest Collectors Shake It Up At Salt & Pepper Shakers Convention

(credit: CBS)

But it all comes down to when salt meets pepper.

“It’s the shakers but for sure the shakes friends, it’s like coming to a family each year, we really love to come and do some shakering,” Verbist said.

Most became interested when they were kids and at some point started collecting. One member has 55,000 shakers in her home. You don’t actually put salt and pepper in them — the salt will ruin the shaker.


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