“Everyone who comes in here is kind of weird”

The store was created almost by accident nearly 20 years ago by a secretary who noticed how popular mugs and T-shirts with the coroner’s logo were at the forensic conferences the department held each year. So she began ordering more and selling them from her desk. Eventually, there was enough business that the merchandise moved to a small closet (the name came not long after that).

Now the shop fills a small room just off the department’s only public entrance. A sign reminds visitors of the real purpose of a coroner, pleading with potentially overeager shoppers to “Please be considerate of our families here on business.”…

As they looked around the small wood-paneled shop, a large couch resembling the inside of a coffin caught the eye of his girlfriend, Monica Rodriguez. It was not for sale, but Ms. Pereyda said she could order a custom version from a company that advertised at the store, promising “eternal comfort” for $3,000.