VILONIA _ Treasure hunters in Vilonia now have a place close to home to search for that ultimate find.
John Lynch and his mother, Paula, opened Rusty Gold Flea Market on Feb. 15, at 1090 Main Street in Vilonia, a mall storefront and the former home of Vann’s Café.
Regarding the name, Mr. Lynch said they borrowed the phrase from the famous television show American Pickers with hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. The two pickers often find buried items in barns and yards and refer to them as rusty gold.
"If it has rust on it, we love it here," Lynch said. "Mike and Frank are saying that all the time on the show so this name just fit us."
Among Lynch’s favorite items in the flea market is a handmade wagon wheel and glass, kitchen table listed for $395. He is also fond of a 1940’s bedroom suite and the hand-painted rooster done by his mother.
"I like things you can’t get at Walmart," Lynch said. Shelves throughout are filled with a variety of items, both modern and antique.
"We have a little bit of everything—except clothing and plastic shelving," he said. "That’s the things we do not allow."
Many of the items, Lynch said, belong to other vendors. Booth spaces ranging at a cost of $35 for two book shelves to $180 for a large booth space are available for rent. On that note, Lynch said the rentable spaces are going fast.
One vendor, Debbie Aultman, was stocking her booth with Coca Cola items. She said she is selling a 20 year collection of items that belonged to her late mother who had "tons of stuff." Many of the items, Aultman said, are sentimental and she will miss seeing them but "it’s time to move on." Pointing to a Coca Cola clock radio, Aultman said that it is one of her favorite pieces that she is selling.
"I just can’t keep it all," she added.
Prior to opening the flea market, Lynch said he has always worked at "hard labor." His job at the flea market, he said, is something he is really enjoying. A constant smile on his face, he welcomes customers inside and extends an invitation to explore. Whether one purchases anything or not, exiting the door, he invites those leaving to "come back and see us. We will probably have something different tomorrow."
The store is open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday. For information, call 501-339-7909.