Kristina and I ( Fred ) had always wanted to own our own flea market and craft fair. Having been vendors at other flea markets and craft fairs, we became convinced that we could open a facility and offer a superior selling environment for our vendors and enjoyable shopping experience for our customers.
So on March 25, 2016, we purchased the building formerly known as the Iris Garden located at 11482 SR 3 North in Kendallville Indiana, just north of Cree Lake and Just south of South Milford. The building was built in the late 70's and was a former union hall. In 2010 it was sold to Iris Moor and became a reception hall known as the Iris Garden.
The building has 3500 square feet of interior space and sits on 4.3 acres of land. It has air conditioning and heat as well as a fully functional kitchen and we saw a lot of possibilities for both the building and the land it was sitting on. The structural framing of the building itself was quite sound, but there were items that had been neglected over the years and needed immediate attention.
Over the next three months, the building and property would go through some major changes
1. The old metal roof that had over 40 leaks was torn off and a brand new metal roof was installed by Northern Indiana Roofing
2. The exterior of the building was pressure washed and then received a professional paint job by Todd Love of Fort Wayne
3. All exterior doors on the sides and rear of the building were replaced with brand new ones.
4. Several new windows were installed.
5. The channels for the drop ceiling were cleaned and painted, then over 370 new ceiling tiles were installed
6. Hensinger Plumbing came in and installed a 50 gallon hot water heater, a slop sink, and redid a good portion of the kitchen drains so they met code.
7. The old and poorly functioning double oven was removed.
8. Old, outdated energy inefficient glass door beverage cooler was removed and replaced with energy efficient refrigerator/ freezer
9. Interior of entire building received a new paint job on the walls and on all the trim
10. Eshelmans Excavating came in and regraded the existing parking lot and then put down over 80 tons of gravel.
11. The wooden storage shed on the property, once a huge eyesore, was painted to match the main building and is now quite attractive
12. New smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector were installed in the the building
13. The concrete slab by the front door was repaired and resurfaced.
14. Dead plants and a bountiful amount of weeds were pulled and new plantings and mulch were put down with landscape ties as borders.
15. Brand new concession machines were added to the kitchen for Hot Pretzels, Coffee, Tea, Nacho Chips with Cheese, Hot Dogs with Cheese and Chili, Popcorn, Breakfast Foods, and other Lunch Specials such as Sloppy Joes, as well as over a dozen drinks to select from.
And this is just a fraction of what we have planned for this property.
It is our goal to make this a place that the people from the surrounding area come to enjoy themselves on the weekend.
1. We are working with the Army Corp of Engineers to see how much of the back portion of the property can be filled in with the hopes of adding a kids train ride through the woods, including bridges and ponds to go around.
2. We are also giving some thought to adding a Radio Controlled off road race track with very low daily use fees such that families can come and enjoy the track all day without it costing them and arm and a leg.
3. For those of you that camp, we will offer the lowest price in the state of Indiana on DNR Certified Bundled Firewood from our sister company Busy Beaver Lumber.
4. The hall is for rent for that special occasion in your life such as weddings, anniversaries or for events such as car shows or coin shows.
5. In August 2016, Fred attended Auctioneer School in Indy, and passed the state exam to become a licensed auctioneer. That is when the real fun will began as we conduct auctions at this same location. We plan of having general consignment auctions as well as specific ones such as coins, model trains, antiques, and food auctions. This should be a lot of fun for all and we are hoping to offer the lowest auction fees in the area so you keep more of the profits in your pockets.
Kristina and I hope that you come and enjoy yourself time and time again. If you have and suggestions for improvement, please share them with us.