After years in the same location, the Wheaton Winter Market has moved to make room for new businesses.
According to Ari's Flowers owner and longtime Winter Market vendor Ari Wise, a brewery and retail store are proposed for the property at 120 N. Main St., which for the past decade had been rented for six months a year by the Winter Market vendors.
Contact information ( * required )
On Jan. 4, Wise and the other vendors -- including Bonnie's Garden Art, St. Honoré Confections, Seize the Bead jewelry, women's accessory retailer Poppy, and The Big Red Schoolhouse bookshop -- opened the Winter Market for the first time at its new location, 121 W. Wesley St.
"We kind of knew ahead of time it was a possibility that this could happen," Wise said of the move, adding that property owner Jim Atten helped the vendors relocate to their current space, which he also owns. "I'm happy for him. The fact he rented (the former Winter Market space) permanently is good for him."
The market will operate at the same time as it did in its previous location, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through April.
While the space is smaller, Wise described the historic yellow house where the market is now being held as "very cozy and homey."
Cathy Nelson, founder of The Big Red Schoolhouse, set up the pop-up bookshop in the space for most of December.
The newest business owner in the group of vendors, Nelson sells mostly multicultural, educational children's books. She hopes to keep the store going even after the Winter Market ends this year.
"Every community should have a bookstore," she said. "We're filling a need and a niche."
Sue Hehr, owner of Seize the Bead, said while it's difficult to make a change, she is thankful Atten helped them find another indoor space for the Winter Market. Atten could not be immediately reached Tuesday.
Hehr said there was debate over whether it was worthwhile to make the move in the middle of the season, but the vendors decided it would be good to get customers familiarized with the location this winter.
"If that's where we're going to be next year it's better to have that presence now," she said.