Are you looking for that special piece of home décor… furniture—or something that just isn’t in most stores? Then Vintage Marché is the place for you. Mark your calendar for a new shopping event! The 15,000-square-foot market opens the first weekend of every month with a cornucopia of unique wares collected by the Tampa Bay area’s best vintage, antique and collectible vendors. It prides itself on a passion for the past, nostalgia, and the re-imagined.
“We’re Tampa Bay’s newest and largest monthly vintage market,” said Paul Donofrio, Vintage Marché’s new owner. “It’s a collective of over 30 of the most experienced pickers anywhere.”
Vintage Marché replaces Brocante Vintage Market in the Warehouse Arts District in downtown St. Petersburg. Donofrio, a former Brocante vendor and current owner of Vintage Marché, got keys to the empty market space just two weeks before it debuted in January.
“Our vendors all pitched in to rebuild the empty space,” said Donofrio. “It was a lot of work and we had to rebuild everything but we did it because we wanted to stay together.”
“ Vintage Marche is more than a market, it’s an experience, an event, ” said Donofrio. “We all have a passion for picking, and love to find new homes for old things.”
Each month the market opens its doors the first Saturday and Sunday, showcasing unique wares from a diverse group of vendors. Saturday night after closing vendors refresh their spaces for Sunday’s clientele.
“Recently we had a pair of bank teller windows from the 1880s,” said Donofrio, describing the elegant pieces of pressed glass and brass bars that guarded the tellers. We’ve also added a space featuring jewelry with semi-precious stones, such as amethysts, deep green jade, sterling silver and Victorian pieces.”
The checkout counter is made from the wooden hull of a 1950s Chris Craft boat, refurbished by craftsman Taylor Williams, and the lighting above it is created from the grid of an old brass elevator door.
“We stage our spaces and juxtapose items on purpose. Customers may find mid-century items next to antiques over 100 years old,” said Donofrio. “It lets our customers envision how pieces from different eras can go together to create a unique look.”
Donofrio refers to Vintage Marche vendors as “bees” because “bees reflect the symbolism of community, the idea of coming together to resurrect and love all things vintage”.
“There are many familiar faces at Vintage Marche. Most vendors from the former market stayed, and we’ve gained 12 new ones,” said Donofrio. “We hand-pick vendors for experience, and we have a waiting list. One thing is clear… our philosophy is to price items to sell! We price things to move…no dust!”
When Vintage Marché opened its doors the first week in January, 2,500 people came out to view and purchase the amazing variety of oddities and one-of-a-kind treasures that makes the market so unique.
“Two of our vendors, Amy and Taylor Williams, designed and painted the building facade,’ said Donofrio.” They are among a myriad of our talented vendor artists and crafters.”
Each month Vintage Marché hosts a Friday night preview for customers.
“We want to be part of the community, so each month at the preview we’re inviting a few local artists to show their work,” said Donofrio. Customers can’t purchase items Friday, but Donofrio says the preview creates excitement, and buyers arrive early to line up on Saturday morning so they’re first in when doors open.
“And we’re dog-friendly to well-behaved, leashed dogs.”
Vintage Marché is open the first weekend of each month, Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The market is located at 2200 2nd Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. More info at vintagemarche727.com.