End of a Squamish era

Mini Flea Market closes

On Feb. 24, the doors will close on a staple of Squamish's main street.

The Mini Flea Market at 38071 Cleveland Ave. is shutting down after 40 years.

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Jack Cutler, the store's owner, told The Chief he can no longer afford the rent for the store, which is also known as Jack’s Flea Market.

It was his mother, Edith Cutler, who started the market to help those in need in Squamish.

"Mom opened it for people who couldn't afford stuff and she used to make out $20 vouchers for the transients who came into town and gave it to them," he said.

End of a Squamish era_1
Source: David Buzzard

Eighty-six year old Edith now lives in Mission with her daughter, Jack's sister.

His mother also started the original women's centre, Cutler added.

While he has worked there on and off "since Day 1," he took over about six years ago.

One of his favourite moments running the store was when the movie Woody Woodpecker was filmed there about three years ago.

"I just gave them the keys and they were there for five or six days," he said.

While many long-time Squamish residents have frequented the store for decades, newer Squamish residents are customers, too.

Christian Ahrenkiel, a Quest University student, is sad to see it close.

“This is a place with a very special place in my heart,” he told The Chief.

“It is where I buy all my Christmas gifts and have purchased some of my most unique and cherished items. As a college student, it is one of the few places in town where I can make unique purchases without breaking the bank.”

After all the store and its owners have done for locals overs the years, Cutler said he's been hurt by some negative comments about the store posted on social media.

Posts about the “mess” behind his store, don’t take into account he works there on his own. “I am only one person,” he said.

He welcomes the commenters to come in and talk to him in person, before the doors close for good.

"Me and my family have served in this town for the people that couldn't afford new," he said.

He said a few of his customers who own businesses have offered him work once the store closes, but at 65, he said he isn't sure he will need or want to.

 

End of a Squamish era_0
Source: David Buzzard

 

 

 

 

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