Last month’s inaugural Flea Off Market in the alley by Market and Shelby streets drew an estimated 1,000 visitors and 40 vendors. That was enough to warrant an expansion.
“It’s monthly now but we hope for it to be something weekly,” says organizer Courtenay Kunnecke. “We had huge success on the first one and it’s only gotten better. Despite the weather, we’ve grown.”
Kunnecke says she’s looking at indoor venues for future markets. Saturday’s event will close off Shelby Street and feature more food and entertainment, as well as at least 20 more vendors.
“The one [issue with last month’s market] was we didn’t have enough food vendors,” she says. “We didn’t expect that many people. We’ve increased the food vendors this time around.”
Kunnecke says the success of the urban market is a good sign for the city and for the burgeoning NuLu neighborhood, which has become host to a number of new restaurants and retail shops in the last two years. This weekend’s event is also something of a test, to see if the market can expand and attract regular customers, rather than those who were just curious about the first event. Kunnecke is confident, and she says the buzz created on Facebook and through word of mouth is encouraging.