Passing by the corner of Vollmer Road and Dixie Highway, you would have thought a family reunion was going on. Tents full of flowers, food lemon shake-ups and more brought Chicago Heights residents to the new open air market.
As families caught up with each others news, they picked up fresh bouquets of flowers and fresh bread. We asked Charlotte Amadio and Patricia Swanson, the managers of Corner Market, how the grand opening of their new business was going.
Patch: How is the first day coming along?
Charlotte: It's awesome! This is more than we expected, the vendors are happy and the shoppers are happy as well. We're glad we're not here by ourselves. Thank you to the thirteen vendors that are here with us today.
What made you want to start a local business?
Charlotte: We're born and bred here. We will live here forever. We, as Chicago Heights residents, leave here every Saturday and travel to other towns that have markets, farmers markets, community garage sales and other events. We decided to bring it here. Chicago Heights is huge, it's diverse, we wanted to bring all of these talents together. We want to stay here and welcome everyone to come here on Saturdays.
What are the specialties at the Corner Market?
Charlotte: We have a lot of unique items to offer. Lena's homemade Italian bread, Sweet Annie's Bakery, both great baked goods. We've got Lovery's Closet, which is high end resale clothes. We've got die-cast cars, NASCAR and collectible cars. Also you can find Gold Canyon candles and Pampered Chef.
Ellen the bean bag lady has some excellent bean bags at great prices. The bean bag boards are of high quality. We've also got Tupperware and fresh flowers. Hand-made items can be found at Crafts by Busy Bette, such as the popular scrubbies. She also makes angels of every birthstone color, baby blankets, dish towels and jewelry. It's a good variety. Next week we're having a few more vendors. We hope to grow from there.
Any tips for shopping an outdoor market?
Patricia: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a large bag to collect all your purchases in.
Charlotte: Some of the vendors offer discounts such as Margaret's Boutique, who offers 50 percent off her items at the market to what she sells in the store. The Tupperware booth has some items at a discount. Pampered Chef will take orders at the market with no shipping costs.
Any recommendations to those wanting to start their own business?
Patricia: Do it!
What are some of the plans for the summer at Corner Market?
Charlotte: Going forward we want to have a day for Southside Cruisers Car Show to come through. Then we would also like to feature a day with the called, "Saturday Gone to the Dogs." We will donate a portion of our lemon shake-up sales to the animals.
Where are your favorite local places to shop and eat?
Patricia: Anything in Olympia Plaza. , also is a good place to eat. I shop at . We try and keep it all here.
Charlotte: I personally shop at , , and in Olympia Plaza. Anything in Olympia Plaza, I have spent money at. I'm also a big Marnell's & fan.
If you are interested in selling or promoting your business at the Corner Market on Saturday, contact the Market Managers at firstname.lastname@example.org.