Your Personal Treasure
by Dave Mast
Randy L. McKee photo.
Have you ever been on a treasure hunt? Does the idea of finding a diamond in the rough or stumbling across a long-sought-after item make your heart go pitter-patter?
A trip to the original Holmes County Flea Market is much like a treasure hunt. With countless nooks and crannies to explore and treasures beckoning at every turn, a trek through these aisles is sure to satisfy every treasure hunter.
One step inside and it is evident that it is an experience that will make the hunt well worth it.
The market’s roots are steeped in Amish Country. The original Holmes County Flea Market began as the dream of Ben Mast in an old chicken coop near Walnut Creek.
Filled with many locally crafted products, it helped bring tourists to the area. Even through times of trials, the flea market has persevered. Originally built in 1989, in 1995 a massive fire destroyed the building, and Mast rebuilt an enormous structure that became an even greater destination.
Over the decades the Holmes County Flea Market has become synonymous with a trip to Amish Country, and in 2008 the flea market moved to its current location inside the stunning market on the east edge of Berlin.
Mast has sold the business to Alan Zinck, but that original tradition of fine crafts and goods and its lush history have seen the Holmes County Flea Market maintain its status as one of Amish Country’s biggest draws.
“Even though ownership changed hands and we are in a new location, Ben was a pioneer, and the Holmes County Flea Market has been instrumental in making Amish Country a destination,” manager Jesse Miller said. “That is part of our legacy. People recognize that little horse and buggy and the sunset and know it stands for everything good about what Amish Country offers.”
Inside are aisles lined with handmade Amish crafts, quality Amish-made wood products, Longaberger baskets, premium leather items, gift packages of all types, antiques, country home accents, locally made soaps and candy, jewelry, toys, books, collectibles, and a whole lot more from 46 vendors.
It is very much akin to going on a treasure hunt. Because like any fun treasure hunt, one never knows what they might stumble upon and fall in love with along the way.
In addition to the hunt, visitors can satisfy their hunger with the introduction of Blessings Café, a delectable café that offers a tantalizing menu that enriches the flea market experience.
With large portions of gourmet burgers, authentic Italian pizza and what Miller said is a host of gourmet Swiss Festival-style foods, Blessings Café is unlike anything else around the county, and it allows shoppers to dine in style and keep up their treasure hunt all day.
“We are basically made up of the fabric of Holmes County,” Miller said. “We have a little bit of everything Amish Country is known for, and now Eric McGovern (owner of Blessings Café) adds a great deal to what we offer. Our goal is to take care of people first, and the rest will take care of itself. We want to continue to make the flea market experience a relaxing and fun one to remember.”
For a satisfying treasure hunt that can lead to finding treasures of the heart, visit the original Holmes County Flea Market at 4550 state Route 39 in Berlin. For hours and a complete list of vendors and events, visit their website at www.holmesfleamarket.com or call them at 330-893-0900.