KEY LARGO -- A group of vendors who were told to move to the back of the Island Market Place flea market have jointly opened a new location at Mile Marker 103, oceanside. The change comes after the vendors were relocated to the back of the market to create space up front for a new Dollar Tree.
"They didn't give us any notice at all," said Delio Mir, who runs an antique shop. "They said,'You've got to move to the back, now.'"
Among the vendors that left the market are an Amish cheese and meat shop, a small country store and an antique seller. They have named their new spot Oceanside Market 103.
The store, which sits next to Bluewater Pottery, is in the space that once was a tattoo parlor.
"There were walls here and there," Mir said of the store's reconfiguring. "We have been working non-stop."
Plans have been submitted to the Monroe County Planning Department to change the front half of Island Market Place into a Dollar Tree.
Michael Cavallaro, who runs the flea market, told The Citizen last month that he didn't expect any vendors to leave.
Mir, an experienced antiquer, says he and his new partners have big plans.
In the back of the new store, Bill and Karen Ridenour will now offer their Amish goods from Ohio year-round. Before moving to the new location, they operated only seasonally.
Karen Someillan, who runs the country store, will prominently display one of her most popular items: homemade soap made by her 15-year-old son, Armani, who uses a portion of his sales to send items to his brother's Army unit, which is headed to Japan.
"He wants to help however he can," Armani's mother said.
In a grassy yard next to the new shop, the group said they hope to bring in a farmer's market.
The shop is hosting Springfest this weekend, with craftmakers and produce vendors offering their products to the public.For more information, call 239-465-3558.