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Thursday, June 23, 2016

MEET OUR STAFF: The People of Wolff's Flea Market

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner
All Photos by Candice Lee Conner
Thank you Candice for introducing the friendly faces of Wolff's Flea Market!


It takes a lot to run a flea market with over 700 vendors almost every Sunday. Wolff's Flea Market has been running their market smoothly for 25 years, because of the folks behind the scenes. This past Sunday, I talked to Wolff's cashiers. 

Meet the Cashiers!
Mary Ellen, Supervisor
Makes sure vendors pay up
Saves the day when cashiers need a break
Been at Wolff's for 12 years

Joanie, Cashier
Daughter is getting married very soon
During the week, Joanie is a full time Substitute Teacher
Been at Wolff's for 6 years

Hilda, Cashier
Been at Wolff's for 16 years!
During the week, Hilda is making folks days and working at a local gas station

April, Cashier
Been at Wolff's for 4 years
I asked if she sees anything weird at Wolff's. She said all the time!
During the week, April teaches at Glenview Preschool. 

Rocio, Cashier, ParkerBeen at Wolff's for 6 yearsDuring the week Rocio is a supervisor for the City of Chicago

Sharon, Cahier, Parker
Been at Wolff's for 3 years
Sees a lot of parking craziness
During the week, Sharon is doing whatever she wants. She retired in March!

Karen, Cashier
Been at Wolff's for 5 years
During the week, Karen helps out her dad


Donna, Cashier
This is Donna's first year at Wolff's!
During the week she is either St. Alexius Hospital, nannying, or playing with her two cats. 

Guest Blogger: Creative Uses for Flea Market Finds

Today's guest blogger is Betsy Fons

Thank you for sharing your projects and ideas!

The first item I ever bought at a flea market was a 5 by 7 carved wooden box. I was 8 years old and we were on our way back home from visiting my grandmother. My dad took the family to a flea market and gave $10.00 to each of his 6 kids to spend. I loved that box and it held many of my childhood “treasures” for many years.

Now, working at a flea market, one of the things I like best is to see customers thrilled about the unique items they buy. I can completely understand their excitement at finding something they have special plans for in their home.

I have grown from buying carved wooden boxes to items I can repurpose in creative ways.  The pictures below are of a few of my finds. I bought an old gardeners tool box, painted it, and put it in my bathroom to hold toiletries. The other picture is of an old church music hymn board that I use to hold family pictures. It’s easy to find creative ways to repurpose flea market finds…if you’re just willing to think outside the box!

Toiletry Caddy
(PHOTO: Betsy Fons)

Hymn board turned photo display
(PHOTO: Betsy Fons)


FUTURE PROJECTS:




Thursday, June 9, 2016

MEET OUR VENDORS! The People of Wolff's Flea Market


By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you can find anything at Wolff's Flea Market. From Love - which we talked about earlier - to antiques. 

And yes folks, even your fresh produce. An epic place to get those strawberries, mangos, and veggies is Dave's Farm Stand. If you've been to Wolff's Flea Market in the past 17 years - you've seen their rather large stand in front of the Allstate Arena. I interviewed Ruben, Dave's son last Sunday while he was tending to his many hungry patrons. 

"I grew up in this place!" said Ruben. He's been working at the market since he was a kid, when his dad ran the stand. Dave and his family joined Wolff's Flea Market 17 years and Wolff's is happy they stayed with them!

The customers love Dave' Farm Stand too. As I was interviewing Ruben, a customer named Lisa yelled out that his "stuff tastes good and that everyone should buy here all the time." 

Ruben sells all kinds of fruits and veggies and products vary depending on the time of year. His key to being successful is to make sure to stay in season. This means buying fresh and local and never buying frozen. 

Said Ruben, "If it's not something I'll put on my table, I don't bring it."

So, there you have it folks. One epic food stand run by an epic person. Dave's Farm Stand is located in the front of the Allstate Arena every Sunday at Rosemont and every Saturday and Sunday at Palatine. 

"If it's not something I'll put on my table, I don't bring it"
Fresh mangos, red peppers and cucumbers
(PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

FOOD REVIEW: Mario's Cart Vegetarian Options at Wolff's Flea Market Rosemont Allstate Arena

This week's guest blogger and food taster is Info Team Member Melissa Kliesch!

Being a non meat eater at a fair, festival, or market which covers the burger and dog circuit; it's sometimes difficult to find an alternative that's a little more than the pizza or fries you usually see. 

I'm not dissing the pizza or fries one bit, but sometimes when it's hard to convince yourself that the sauce on the pizza or the deep fried goodness of a potato really is a vegetable, you have to look a little further.

So this is where Mario's Cart and their Chico Wrap comes to the forefront. This flour tortilla is filled with fresh spinach, mozzarella, tomato and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Swap the chicken for the avocado pico de gallo and it's a veggie delight.

"Oh where did you get that?" I hear as I open my veggie wrap from Mario's Cart.

"That looks good!" and it totally does.

I open it up: The cheese is melty, the spinach is a plenty and it is really fresh and green. You also get good color from the tomato and the avocado in the pico de gallo.

What looks good, tastes even better. You get the softness of the flour tortilla, a nice crunch from the spinach, the creaminess from the cheese and the tartness from the balsamic vinegar. All complimented by the small kick from the pico de gallo. It's a good little wrap. For $8 and how fresh everything was, I think you totally get your money's worth.

Also as a side note, the staff at Mario's Cart was super accommodating. At some places if you ask for a substitution of no meat, there's a bit of confusion. But here as soon as a started explaining what I wanted, I got a reply, "Oh you want the veggie wrap." 

Yeah, so clearly it's already a thing and I'm late to the party.

So if you want a healthier option the next time you're at Wolff's Flea Market, head over and order the Chico Wrap, with or without chicken--you might see me ordering the same thing.

The Veggie Wrap from Mario's cart: Fresh, Green & Delicious!
(PHOTO: Melissa Kliesch)
The Chico Wrap, for those who like chicken!
(PHOTO: Sharon Wolff)

See you at the flea!


Mario's Cart

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MEET OUR VENDORS! The People of Wolff's Flea Market

Love at First Vend

By Guest Blogger Candice Lee Conner

You can find anything at the Flea. And as Carol and Rich found out, you can also find true love. 

Back on Memorial Day 2006, Carol was selling during her first year at Wolff's Flea Market, Rosemont. Rich, a vendor of 15 years, started talking to Carol to find out her "selling secrets". According to Carol, she was doing great and selling a ton of items. Rich...not so much. From this predicament, a romance quickly flourished! 

"He would leave a rose on the left side of my van every (sale) day," Says Carol.

And they've been together ever since.

Today, Rich and Carol still sell at Wolff's Flea Market...and still in separate spaces. 
Rich says it's so that Carol won't shop and leave Rich behind with all her merchandise, but I think it's because this lovely couple likes to compete with each other.

Rich and Carol - Love at First Vend
(PHOTO: Candice Lee Conner)