Treasure Cay was a hub of activities on March 2, 2019. The library was holding its annual Book Sale and the annual Flea Market was in full swing as of early morning. One would also notice the colourful tents, which have become a trademark of the event, heralding the venue of the monthly Island Market Place.
The Annual Flea Market
Finding a parking spot after 8am was somewhat problematic as more people were arriving, making their way to the Coco Bar parking lot where the Flea Market was held.
This year vendors and buyers were in great numbers and merchandise abounded. People could find whatever they needed: rugs, furniture, small appliances, tools, linen, preserves or whatever caught their fancy: books, glass ware, bric-a-brac of any kind, plants, jewelry and more. Missed breakfast? It was easily remedied as chicken souse, conch fritters or stewed fish were available.
It was a paradise for the bargain hunters. Sellers, peddling their merchandise on many tables or from the back of their vehicles, were willing to entertain many offers.
Many items went for just a few dollars; some even discounted lower as purchasers haggled for the best deals. By mid-morning, many were loading purchases into or on top of their vehicles and it was not unusual to see women carrying on their heads large garbage bags loaded with merchandise.
The Island Marketplace
Leaving the Flea Market for the Island Marketplace across the street in Treasure Cay, you were immediately submerged in a different atmosphere. Gone was the buying frenzy; people there were browsing from one stall to the other, stopping to chat with the vendors or to their acquaintances they met along the way. It is a laid-back, “Island Time” affair.
Under tents, picnic tables had been provided for people to relax or enjoy the food or drinks they bought at Brock Pinder’s table, the pies sold at Dee Dee Robert’s stand, or the fresh conch salad from Da Real Conch Man, Kirk Pedican.
The booths were set in a large ellipse on the green located in the middle of the town’s business area, so it was easy to make a round at leisure, allowing customers to browse at all the tables without missing any.
At the Island Marketplace, diversity abounded from fresh produce to handcrafted items, food prepared on demand, to – should one need a pick-me-up – a choice of alcoholic beverages.
One could find fresh greens from the Driftwood Farm, homegrown sweet peppers and tomatoes, hot pepper seedlings, local limes at Danette Pinder’s booth, and end-products such as local honey, pepper jelly and guava jam sold by the owner of Fields of Green Farm, Lavonda Smith, or sold individually by Lane Snow or Barbara Foreman.
Crafted jewelry and gift items at Greta Pintard’s booth made nice souvenirs, and so did collage and painted fabric at Francoise Hedden’s Petite Fleur’s. Visitors could also find decorated sea troves at Linda Lowe’s Grumpy Grunts Crafts, and delicate sea-glass jewelry made by Ginny Warner.
The round continued to find Anne Bonney Bags, a handmade collection of fabric bags for casual wear that can also be found online at Etsy or Amazon.
One had to pass Da Real Conch Man to complete the ellipse. Needless to say, there was a line of people watching him chop the conch and mix the ingredients of his succulent, famous conch salad.
Abaco Neem and Every Child Counts (ECC) shared a table. Neem products such as salve, cream, Neem oil and capsules were explained and sold by Barbara Foreman. Anne Bootle represented ECC with crafts made by the school’s students.
Laverne Maynard had a large array of crafted items made from local base products such as straw, coconut and shells. Next to her booth, different styles of handmade straw bags were displayed along with quilted items by Vonda Bethel and Corella Sands. There were also wood-turned creations such as bowls by Stephen Knowles, and pens by Leo Bethel, which made nice gifts to bring back home.
Air plants hung from sea urchin shells at Lane Snow’s, and a huge collection of cacti and succulents artistically planted in ceramic containers were displayed at Bernard Curry’s table. Reasonably priced from $20 to $35, they also made beautiful gifts for any occasion.
If what the Island Marketplace has to offer entices you, be sure to visit on April 6 as it will be the last market of the season until November. Most vendors are there every month, so you can look forward to finding many of the items mentioned in this article.
Library Book Sale
Each year, the Treasure Cay Library’s Annual Book Sale and Flea Market are held on the same date. This year it coincided with the Island Market Place event, so this hub of activities brought many visitors from other parts of the island, besides the local residents and second home owners.
In front of the library, many tables loaded with books were the first things one noticed while arriving at the center of the settlement. There was reading material for every taste. Novels, biographies, general information, history, science, all topics were covered whether in paper or hard back books. So, it was not surprising that people were already browsing for books early in the morning.
CDs and games were also available and by end morning three tables had been cleared.
One of the volunteers working the sales booth said that it had been quite successful and that some of the leftover books would be given to other libraries such as the new library in Marsh Harbour.