If you enjoy shopping outdoor markets, then New Orleans’ newest pop-up concept is definitely for you. Swap Meet Nola debuted on the city scene just about six weeks ago and is settling in nicely at its Mid-City location.
The Humane Society of Louisiana sponsors the weekly event that takes place each Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the parking lot of St. Margaret’s nursing home on Bienville Street. It is the brainchild of New Orleans transplant Toni Horton, who imported the idea from the West Coast.
The market offers artists, farmers and local vendors a centrally located platform to sell their wares while reserving a portion of the market space footprint for the occasional weekend merchant who is seeking to turn closet treasures into needed cash. It’s this last component that really sets Swap Meet apart from the rest.
“Swap Meets are huge in California and Arizona,” founder and market coordinator Horton explained. “We are so grateful to St. Margaret’s for allowing us to use their spacious new parking lot as a staging point for our community market. We have plans soon to expand our services to include pet adoptions and microchip services.”
A natural progression because Horton’s sponsor is the Humane Society of Louisiana. Horton, an animal lover with rescues of her own, enjoys the casual pet-friendly shopping atmosphere.
Jeff Dorson, director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, reminded me that his organization is a no-kill animal sanctuary that has been around since 1988.
“We currently care for over 200 animals that include a various assortment of farm animals like horses, goats and chickens. We are dedicated to helping animals in need,” he said.
The nonprofit organization will soon open a 50-acre animal sanctuary in Washington Parish.
As I strolled the aisles seeking to locate my own new treasure, virtually all of the merchants I met were warm and friendly. Like many community markets, the vendors seemed more like members of one large extended family, with everyone pitching in to help the other out wherever needed. Swap Meet definitely felt like a great group of people working together in a family-friendly setting.
Jo Jellies were irresistibly delicious, and Ernie’s Famed Confectioneries gave me a much-needed burst of energy that only comes from eating one of his yummy little power bars. Who’s counting calories anyway?
Swap Meet Nola is conveniently located in the Mid-City neighborhood at 3525 Bienville St. There’s plenty of off-street parking and some with shade courtesy of the surrounding oaks. If you’re seeking art or adornment, this community market has much to offer. The best part is, you’ll be meeting new friends while supporting local vendors.
For more information, visit www.swapmeetnola.com or check them out on Facebook. If you’re a vendor interested in space, you can also call Toni Horton at (504) 813-5370.
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