Dirk DaCosta and Dina Guzzardo are co-owners of the Mercato Market at the Atlantic City Race Course.

Business: Mercato Market

Location: Atlantic City Race Course, Mays Landing

Owners: Dina Guzzardo, of Galloway Township; Dirk DaCosta, of Galloway Township

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Employees: 1

Phone: 609-377-8484

Dirk DaCosta: Mercato Market will take the idea of an outdoor market, what most people refer to as a flea market, and change the concept.

We've experienced different types of outdoor markets in Europe, particularly London, and we wanted to bring that back to South Jersey.

We're creating an outdoor market that's also an entertainment destination.

When you come to Mercato Market, as well as the shopping with a lot of high quality vendors, you're going to be entertained.

Every weekend we're going to have entertainment, whether it's live music, dance groups, comedians, food competitions or festivals.

Dina Guzzardo: It's all 100 percent free. The reason we do this is to make sure that our vendors will make money. We'll work very hard to attract the maximum number of shoppers.

DaCosta: We'll also have two more components: a fully licensed beer garden and a gourmet food district. We're bringing in high-quality food trucks and vendors, and we're making sure that every one does something different.

Of course, because it's the racetrack, you've got live simulcasting of horse racing as well. So it will truly be an entertainment destination as opposed to a flea market.

We'll have a mix of vendor types in districts - antiques and furniture in one area, and arts and crafts in another, and a general merchandise district.

Guzzardo: Any vendor can fill out a registration form at mercatomarket.com.

DaCosta: We'll have the traditional 10-by-10-foot space and 10-by-30, which allows you to park a van or car next to your space.

We'll have about 650 to 750 vendor spaces. Prices start at $25.

Dina's family has participated in markets in Florida for many years. On a trip to London, we found an impressive market.

Guzzardo: We would wake up every weekend and ask each other what we wanted to do this weekend and decided this area needs more.

Mercato Market will open May 3 and will be open every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas.

Business Editor Kevin Post


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