The former Dillons store on South Second Avenue is ready to open once again, but under a new name and a new look.


     The former Dillon's store on South Second Avenue is ready to open once again, but under a new name and a new look.
     The grand opening of DC Flea Market is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday. There will be a live radio remote on site, an inflatable jumper for kids, music and food. The community is invited to participate in celebrating a new business that almost never happened.
     Business owner Cosme Tejeda purchased the building almost five years ago, soon after the Dillon's store closed. Cosme, who has owned several businesses, knew a good location when he saw one and wasted no time.
     "I saw the for sale sign one day, and I called about it," he said. "I didn't even bother to look inside or anything. I just called, closed the deal, and everything happened pretty fast."
     The new owner originally envisioned turning his new location into a store. But with other business keeping him busy, the store never became a reality.
     Cosme was then approached by someone from Furniture Outlet who was interested in renting the facility as a storage place, and Cosme agreed.
     The building became a storage facility for Furniture Outlet for two years before leaving the building vacant, which left Cosme to decide whether he would keep his building or sell it.
     Cosme decided he would give his store idea another chance.
     "While in Denver, I saw a lot of flea markets," Cosme said. "People from all over and from every race come to one location for the items and the food or to just walk around. It gave me the idea to start something similar."
     A flea market is something Cosme also talks about as being part of his culture. Growing up in Mexico, he remembers visiting outdoor flea markets where he could find anything and everything, from house items to clothing to handmade jewelry to live music to fresh fruit and vegetables.  
     "It was great," he said. "I want Dodge City to experience that."

Bringing it to life
     The word about someone in town wanting to start a flea market soon got out.
     According to Cosme, he started receiving many phone calls from people interested in becoming vendors inside the store. Cosme said he's had approximately 40 interested vendors, but only those who have paid their deposit to reserve their space are considered confirmed.
     Among the confirmed vendors are Paleteria Rio Grande, a vendor that will offer ice cream, fresh fruit cocktails, nachos, corn on a stick and more; Saaubedra Used Furniture; La Lupita, an accessory vendor; and Charlotte Fashion, a clothing vendor.
     Other vendors will be selling children's clothing, perfume, Herbalife products, household items and more.
     "There are a lot of people that move to Dodge and are intimidated to shop at big stores like WalMart or the mall," said Othon Mendez, owner of La Lupita. "People can come here and feel more at ease, and some may even be reminded of their own culture. We're going to offer a little bit of everything."  
     Cosme said he hopes to see the flea market thrive, as it will definitely be something different in Dodge City.

     Reach Nancy Calderon at (620) 408-9914 or via email at nancy.calderon@dodgeglobe.com.