THE PLANT CITY FARM - FLEA MARKET AKA "COUNTRY VILLAGE FLEA MARKET" PLANT CITY, FLORIDA A LITTLE HISTORY & INFO ON THE MARKET
The Country Village Flea Market was started in 1978, on 1/2 acre at the corner of State Road 39 N. and W. Sam Allen Rd. This was "Hair's Corner", a small country store that sold Gulf Gasoline. Back in the 40's & 50's the store was owned by Lutie V. Wright, (B 1891 - D 1973) Grandma Wright rented the store to her son-in-law Bill Hair & daughter Jenette Wright Hair. In 1977, Lutie's grandson Ferris Waller bought the property from his mother and three aunts. They were Oneita Wright Waller, (B 1916 - D 2005) Jenette Wright Hair, Lauredo Wright Holbrook, Sebelia "Be Be" Wright Holland, They were known around town as the "The Wright Girls". Waller with a friend of his "Dale Ballard" opened a store called "Save A Buck". It lasted for a while and then Waller, with the help of his neighbors Bruce & Alice DeHond, sold produce for a few month. It was about that time when a flea market was tried one weekend. Bruce, Alice & Ferris with, 7 other people put out a bunch of second hand merchandise aka ( JUNK ). Waller, recognizing the potential of this to become a business, then purchased a few additional acres from Julia Allen. In 1979 the land was rezoned and the flea market was officially opened. The market then had 6 acres. A few years later another 10 acres of low land to the North was purchased from Cleotis and Rebecca Smith. Through the years additional acreage was purchased, and the market now has approximately 35 to 40 acres. In the late 80's the Florida State Farmers Market located on the West side of downtown Plant City, closed their market to Vendors, Fruit and Vegetable Pickers, and Farmers. This was when the Farmer part of the Flea Market was added. Our Farmers Market is open 7 days a week, closing only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Market is open to the public, however this is a Large Wholesale Market With 100 Plus Vendors covering 9 + acres, and only a few items are available in small quantity.
The Plant City Farm & Flea Market through the years has grown to become one of the largest Independent Farmers Market in the southeastern United States. Thousands of truck loads of produce come through the market each year. There are millions of $ in business being done annually, by the hundreds of vendors and farmers who sell here. More than fifteen years ago Eckerd Collage did an (economic impact study) of the what the market meant to the local community. The numbers back then were between $65 & $75 million dollars a year. It is estimated that the number would exceed $250 million today.
Approximately 90% of the produce is sold to restaurants, grocery stores, and hundreds of fruit & vegetable dealers that sell along the road sides. You will find produce from the Plant City Market in the local fruit & vegetable stores in your town, and flea markets through out all of Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia.
We will post a slide show later that will show some of the trucks that come to the market weekly.
The Flea Market is open on Wednesday only, and it is all outdoors.