Flea market bug bites thrift-seekers

Flea market bug bites thrift-seekers

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

People who enjoy scouring for valuables ranging from items found in Grandma’s attic to handy tools, often get their fill at flea markets, which actually began on Flea Street in London.

A little closer to home is the Sandy Hollow Indoor/Outdoor Antique & Flea Market. The company has sold a variety of goods for 28 years. The flea market has had a variety of locations in Rockford throughout the years but settled at 3913 Sandy Hollow 15 years ago.

The year-round indoor/outdoor market is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. A laundry list of merchandise includes collectibles, antiques, gold and sterling silver jewelry, sports memorabilia and Western clothing.

Carol Fritsch, who owns the store with her husband, Albert, noted the two main factors that attract patrons: “It’s bargain, bargain (and) one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

These bargains are sold by 60 flea market dealers indoors in 9,200 square feet and roughly 30 dealers in an approximate two-acre, outdoor area.

Although the company has maintained about the same number of dealers over the years, business has boomed over time. “We get a lot more people than we used to,” she said. “We’re doing well.”

Fritsch said advertising has helped the business boom. “We have people coming in from all over the United States. We also advertise nationwide. We are also on the Internet.”

With business so good, Fritsch said she is seeking a building to expand. She isn’t sure when the expansion will occur. She has found another building she is interested in buying, but she wouldn’t disclose the location. Fritsch said she needs more room because more dealers are interested in vending a plethora of items, which vary all the time.

“Merchandise is changing weekly,” Fritsch said. “We’ve got a general variety of everything.”

Merchandise isn’t the sole attraction. “We have a snack bar serving homemade food,” she said. Food includes hamburgers, grilled chicken, French fries (cut at the market) and banana bread.

For more information call 874-3362.

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