Indoor flea market working out

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

By Emily Ford
SPENCER — Rebecca and Michael Firenze chose Spencer for their indoor flea market, close to both Salisbury and Lexington.
So far, their choice has proven wise.
“Spencer was a good place to pick,” said Rebecca Firenze, who owns Collector’s Flea Market at 1303 S. Salisbury Ave. with her husband.
The location has a big parking lot and a significant amount of traffic going in and out of Salisbury, she said.
Open for six weeks, the flea market has filled 10 of 12 indoor vendor spots.
“We have traffic increasing every week, and the outside sales on the weekend are going well,” Firenze said. “We have been pleasantly surprised.”
The store features a lunch counter, with more food options coming soon, she said.
Michael Firenze ran a small flea market in Florida, but this is the couple’s first large endeavor.
Vendors have come from as far as Mooresville and Walnut Cove. Outdoor table rentals are available to the public for $10 on the weekends.
Rebecca Firenze said the business community in Spencer is welcoming and helpful, and she plans to shop locally whenever possible.
“The more businesses that open here, the better,” she said. “We can help turn the economy around by supporting each other.”
The flea market will feature an art gallery where local artists can sell their work on commission.
Business picking up
David Salem and his father, Salem Mohssin, moved to Salisbury from New York six months ago to buy the gas station and convenience store at 429 N. Salisbury Ave. in Spencer.
They named it Kings Store.
“You know, like the best,” Salem said.
They had a friend in the area, who recommended it.
“We liked the town — it’s small and quiet,” Salem said. “We thought we would have a better life here.”
Business was slow at first but has picked up, and Salem plans to bring his family here from New York. He has eight children.
They’ve hired three part-time employees and would like to buy another gas station some day, Salem said.
Convenience store
Develle Simms doesn’t get much sleep.
When he gets off third shift at the Food Lion warehouse around 7 or 8 a.m., he takes his daughters to school while his wife prepares for her job at Food Lion headquarters.
Back home at 9, he catches a few hours sleep before he opens his new business, the Spencer Package Store at 448 S. Salisbury Ave.
The convenience store sells candy, soda, cigarettes and other items.
“I started thinking about it a couple years ago, and I got talked out of it,” Simms said. “But I saved up some money and decided I want to do something for me.”
He chose the location because it’s close to Family Dollar, which has good traffic, he said.
He closes for a short time around 3 p.m. to pick up his girls from school, and they spend the rest of the afternoon with him at the store doing their homework and playing.
After he grabs something to eat with his family, Simms reopens for another couple of hours before grabbing a catnap and then heading to work.
“I looked around a little bit, and that side of town was empty,” Simms said. “I thought, why not try to build a business?”
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.