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Marketplace on Main to be sold, but remain open

Marketplace on Main co-owners Cathy Noel and Pattie Carter are preparing to sell the eclectic antique and gift store they opened April 1, 2009, but want to assure longtime customers and friends that the new owners will keep it open. The pair, who’ve been friends since childhood, said they’re in the process of selling the business to two women who operate an antique store next to the Rebecca Ruth shop on U.S. 60. Marketplace on Main will retain its name, Noel said. Carter said they’d been talking about selling the business for several months, but their decision had nothing to do with a sales slowdown due to the pandemic. “We are just reaching a nice prime age …” Carter began, then Noel chimed in with a close approximation of that age. “You don’t have to tell them that,” Carter said, and both women chuckled. “We’re doing it because yes, it’s getting hard for us to do what we need to do to keep it thriving,” Carter said. The handover will take place before the end of the month, but Noel and Carter said they’ll continue to help the new owners for a few months afterwards. A “Farewell to Friends” 50 percent off sale on some merchandise will take place Oct. 17, they said. Carter said after the sale, they’ll retain part of their inventory. “Very bittersweet,” Carter said of her feelings about selling the shop. “Because I’ve been involved since the 1970s with antiques and always wanted to have a little business. So after I retired from state government, Cathy and I got together and decided to open this business after the big flea market (in the Versailles Center) closed …” Carter said they opened with a full house of vendors and slowly started their gift shop, which became a big part of their business. Noel said she’d wanted to own a little store like Marketplace on Main “forever and ever.” “I wish I’d done it right out of college instead of waiting, but it’s been one of the best experiences of my life and I’m really going to miss it it, but like Patty said, it’s just time,” Noel said. Carter said the new owners, a retired nurse and a lawyer, are very nice people. “They’re very talented, they’re very creative and they’re younger than us, so they have a lot of energy,” Carter said of Jo Lynn McKee and Mary McKee. Noel said they’ll miss their customers, some of whom stopped by to kill a little time, others who stayed so long that she and Carter thought they’d already left and would ask, “Did you get lost?” “I don’t think that I work one day that somebody doesn’t come in here and say, ‘Cathy, I love this store … and don’t ever leave,’” Noel said.

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