by Donna Byrd
Ok, all you guys and gals out there who can’t pass up a good flea market! Have I got good news for you! One of North Carolina’s top ten flea markets is just a hop, skip and jump from the Topsail Island area. Yes, Twice As Nice Flea Market and More is located on Hwy. 17 North, between Jacksonville and Sneads Ferry and it would be fair to say, “It is Yuuuuge!”
You can’t miss it. I pulled into the parking lot of the monstrous, beige colored building on Sunday afternoon. The place was so busy I could hardly find a parking spot. All types of cars and trucks (some pulling long, covered trailers) were lined up neatly, waiting for their owners to load them up with bargains and treasures they had found on the inside.
I entered the door that had the words, “Flea Market” printed above it in red. I shook my head as I thought of how powerful those two little words were. To bargain hunters like me, they were like water to the thirsty, food to the hungry and crack to the… well, you get the point. Once seen from the road, those words lure us in like flies to honey. We. Cannot. Resist.
The largest indoor flea market in coastal Carolina, Twice As Nice Flea Market, boasts over 100 vendors. It opened on February 1st, two years ago and has since been a favorite place to frequent for those seeking special treasures in southeastern North Carolina and those visiting our lovely coastal communities.
I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that greeted me when I walked through the door. Aisle after aisle, one vendor’s booth after another, I was happily assaulted by antiques, repurposed furniture and knick knacks, vintage clothes, suitcases, shoes, hats, pictures, cameras, dishes, glassware, ceramics and pottery, jewelry, linens and lace. There was also a good smattering of new things: candles, lotions, sea decorations (a lot of mermaid things) and baby diapers. Wait…did I say diapers? Yes I did!
I was able to meet the manager, Jill Guzzetti, and she said that new and old treasures come in daily, the merchandise turning over quickly. She pointed out that prices range from probably $.25 to $500. So literally, there’s something affordable for everyone. Their unofficial slogan is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” I must admit, there is much truth to that statement!
There was an old telephone table like the one that once stood in my grandmother’s hallway. A fat bouquet of garden tools graced the corner of one booth and surely could have been the ones from my grandfather’s shed.
Vintage vinyl album covers from bands I grew up with in the 1970’s were stacked in baskets. I flipped through them, smiling at the memory of my best friend and I at a few concerts. Toys were scattered throughout the store and many seemed to be like those my children had played with when they were little. There was Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too!
I saw some old Pfaltzgraft Yorktowne dinnerware plates displayed on a shelf and remembered that some friends of ours had that exact china pattern. We had eaten well off of those plates and shared some good times! However, my best find was an old blue and white wedding ring quilt exactly like the one a friend bought us as a gift, years ago, of course. After hundreds of washings it had worn out and sadly, I had thrown it away. I wondered if I should buy that old quilt folded there in the basket, for old time’s sake. Decisions, decisions! Be careful when you’re shopping at a flea market and begin to feel like you’re visiting your old life. You may buy everything you see, if you’re sentimental like me.
The next time you’re visiting Topsail Island and need a break from the sun or if it’s raining and you need something fun to do, it’s worth the short ride to Twice as Nice Flea Market. Or, if you’re riding up Hwy 17 and see the red letters, “Flea Market” on a huge, beige building and your hearts starts palpitating and your car begins to turn all by itself into the parking lot, just remembered you’ve been warned: bargains are on the inside and come with plenty of nostalgia!
Twice As Nice Flea Market is located on 3060 Wilmington Hwy.
Jacksonville, NC 28540
Open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter
Mon – Fri 10:00 – 6:00
Sat – 10:00 – 5:00
Sun – 12:00 – 5:00
Twice As Nice Flea Market takes debit and credit cards ($10 minimum,) and cash. They don’t take checks.