By Lisa Evans
If you are in the mood for gourmet pasta, or a jewelry basket, or for just taking in the sights at one of the country’s coolest flea markets, you’re in for a treat at the Hartville Marketplace and Flea. Located on the grounds of the Miller family’s sprawling 200 acre business complex, the flea market is just one of the many business run by the enterprising Miller family, now in it’s fourth generation of owners.
Howard R. Miller Jr. is the current president of HRM Enterprises; a conglomeration of 18 different businesses originally started by his grandparents, Sol and Soloma Miller, in 1939, then passed to their son, Howard’s father, Howard R. Miller Sr., back in 1962. The company’s origins were rooted in the farming community with Sol Miller starting things off with a livestock auction, while his wife Soloma ran a lunch counter on the second floor of the barn. Ever the entrepreneur, Sol allowed vendors to open flea market stalls at the auction, and the marketplace was born.
Now managed by Howard R. Miller Jr.’s brother in law, Marion Coblentz, the marketplace and flea boasts 110 indoor vendors with an addition 500 to 1,000 outdoor vendors in the summer time. The complex of businesses including the marketplace also houses the country’s largest hardware store, at an incredible 305,000 square feet and packed with over 75,000 items including a full size “Made in the USA Idea” model home and a circa 1800’s log cabin.
A hugely popular tourist attraction, the marketplace flea and hardware store have long been a staple in the community, garnering more and more fans in the nearby cities of Akron and Canton as they have grown in the last hundred years. A Pennsylvania tour company, the Thomas Tours & Travel Company, even plans regular day trip events to bus in market fans from the Pittsburgh area. Elaine Basta, tour director and trip planner for Thomas Tours recently told the CantonRep.com news, “We have people who look forward to it every year. They ask, ‘Are you having Hartville this year? When are you having it?'”
To join in on the fun and check out the vendor space availability, please visit www.hartvillemarketplace.com.
Hartville Marketplace & Flea
1289 Edison Street SW
Hartville, OH 44632
Website : www.hartvillemarketplace.com