The most accurate description of the inventory at the Bay Area Antique Marketplace would be "everything and anything vintage." The 11,000-square-foot building in Pinellas Park has more than 80 antique and vintage sellers featured in booths throughout the space, each with their own style and focus.
Located away from the cluster of other antique shops in downtown St. Petersburg or Palm Harbor, the Marketplace came to exist in 1999 after Greg Farner and his parents, Tom and Shondra, veteran antiquers, saw a need for it. Running auctions for business-assets liquidation next door that brought up to 800 people monthly to the property, the customer base was already built and the space allowed for a great variety of vendors.
From 1960s glove stands ($49) to a large Moroccan-style pendant light ($125) and books, some with inscriptions and dedications dating as far back as 1913 (starting at $6), the marketplace carries all authentic antique and collectible items from carefully screened sellers. To have a booth at the Marketplace, vendors need to bring something truly unique to the space to keep the variety and diversity available. The store's management makes sure every item for sale is of good quality and within a reasonable price. They also help customers navigate the maze of antique furnishings, accessories, clothes and more.
The customers are a varied group. Some are experienced antique shoppers visiting from out of town, others are local repeat customers. During the holidays, the largest group is made of shoppers trying to look for the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or relative.
Whether it's World War II-era sheet music for a for $2 or a wrought-iron patio furniture set in mint condition for $110, the Marketplace is bound to have a fitting gift for even the pickiest people.