Member Spotlight – The Ark Antiques & Flea Market

Member Spotlight – The Ark Antiques & Flea Market

At July 6th’s Chamber Connections, Chamber members milled about The Ark Antiques & Flea Market’s 14,000 square feet of odds, ends, and treasures.

When Ben Coffey opened The Ark three years ago, Covid was at its peak. Yet within a month, the antiques and flea market consignment shop went from 13 vendors to having to expand into the back of it’s building at the corner of Main and Sutherland Streets. It now hosts 185 booths from 140 vendors.

The Ark is a family affair with Ben’s parents Lynn and James working alongside him as well as Lynn’s great-niece and 10 part-time employees that help keep the shop clean and open 7 days a week.

Ben is proud that The Ark specializes in letting “the average Joe” learn and grow as a vendor. In fact, their youngest vendor started at 9 years old, and their oldest is 93. Thursday night Ben held the first “Thursday Conversation” for vendors to help them hone their craft. Thursday’s topic was about pricing products, specifically researching prices on eBay.

The wildly eclectic mix of products in the shop is due to Ben’s hands-off approach in curating. He says vendors are free to sell whatever they want as long as it doesn’t violate any moral or legal code. Unlike many flea markets, Ben also doesn’t try to be the cheapest – he strives to be the best. To keep collections fresh, vendors are required to update/change out their stock regularly. The Ark has a sophisticated software system that emails venders nightly with their products that sold that day so they always know what is selling well and what isn’t.

Because the contents of the shop are so vast, it’s impossible to have a complete inventory list. Recently Ben started a “Want List” for customers who are looking for specific items they can’t find in the shop. The list goes out to each of the vendors without the customers names or contact information so they can be on the lookout for those items in their inventory or when they acquire more. Vendors can then get the item to Ben, who contacts the customer.

In addition to retail and consignment sales, The Ark also rents out tables, chairs, and canopies for events.

Visit The Ark Antiques and Flea Market 7 days a week at 301 S. Main or call 620-718-2036 for more information. Follow and The Ark’s very active Facebook page. Don’t forget to check out the photos from July 6th’s Chamber Connections.