CNJ Staff Photo: Gabriel Monte Vendors set up their stands Saturday at the Clovis Flea Market on Seventh Street and R.L. Moreno Road.
By Gabriel Monte: Freedom Newspapers
The last flea market brought the Purriers to Clovis from Minnesota about two years ago. But when they got here, it closed.
So, Sherry Purrier said, they bought a house instead.
She and her husband, Marvin, ran a flea market in south-central Minnesota. When the Clovis Flea Market opened on Seventh Street at R.L. Moreno Road, they couldn’t wait to set up a stand and sell used jeans.
“We both got really excited when we saw the sign,” said Marvin Purrier, who started selling used jeans at the market on Friday. “It’s what Clovis really needs, seriously.”
About 17 vendors set up their stands Saturday, drawing in about 300 to 400 people that morning, according to market vendors. Market owner Anna Hunt said she expects more people as word of the market spreads.
Hunt operates the market with her parents. She said when she was little her family would go to flea markets and has been trying to start one in Clovis.
“We’ve been trying for 30 years to get a flea market here and finally succeeded,” said Hunt’s father, Troy Newcomb, 67, of Clovis.
Newcomb said he participated in a flea market circuit in California in the 1970s.
“We sold anything you can imagine,” he said. “After expenses, we cleared about $2,000 a week. That’s a good salary.”
He said there is another flea market in Texico.
Hunt said the flea market is more convenient for bargain hunters than spending weekends looking for garage sales around town.
“Why spend $40 or $50 on gas a week going to garage sales when you can get everything you need right here,” Newcomb said.
Hunt said most customers find out about the flea market by word of mouth or as they pass it on Seventh Street.
Vendors sell anything from used clothes and appliances to books and videos.
“It’s just one huge garage sale,” said shopper Randy Sierra of Littlefield, Texas.
George Martinez of Clovis sold potatoes out of his brother’s truck. He said he’ll add watermelon and other fruits to his stand next time.
“Clovis hasn’t had a steady flea market for years,” he said.
Jessica Olivas of Portales looked around the market with her three children and picked up a desk lamp for $3. She said she has been to the flea market in Lubbock and saw the one in Clovis as she was driving along Seventh Street.
“It’s different,” she said. “It’s something new.”