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Downtown antique market will expand to occupy an entire block

Enjoying some late afternoon shade, a handful of vendors sat outside A Cat and the Fiddle A Fair shared some laughs and enjoyed some Diet Cokes. Tired but otherwise jovial, the group rested after a busy day of painting.

"We've been non-stop painting," said Becky Schuster to explain their speckled attire.

The not quite one-year-old business is expanding. A Cat and the Fiddle A Fair has taken over the whole 14600 block of South Robert Trail. That includes five total buildings, some of which used to house Haupt Antiek. Haupt Antiek relocated to Apple Valley in June.

To get ready for its first weekend open with the new properties owner Catherine Snyder and the various vendors that make the shop what it is have been busy updating the houses the business will now occupy. A Cat and the Fiddle A Fair will open July 17 through July 20.

The group only had a month to get the new houses ready. Although it has been a big job the group enjoyed the work and are excited for what it will lead to.

"We had to put everything together in a pretty short amount of time," said Schuster.

Snyder decided to expand her business into the former Haupt Antiek houses after she heard the longtime Rosemount business was moving.

"It was a joint decision. Everyone said 'we can do this,'" Snyder said of the support she got from the vendors.

Schuster added, "We could not let these gorgeous houses go to waste and sit empty."

It's a big leap for A Cat and the Fiddle A Fair. With all five houses, the business, which sells antiques and other unique items will occupy more than 9,000 sq. ft. of space, nearly quadrupling its space.

A Cat and the Fiddle has occasional sales, usually the third weekend of every month. The shop will open for special occasions such as after the Leprechaun Days parade July 25 as well.

The business opened last September at 14680 S. Robert Tr. Snyder said business has obviously gone well since she's willing to expand.

"It's been amazing. Wherever I go I hear things about us," said Snyder.

The vendors who sell through A Cat and the Fiddle aim to make it a fun place to shop. The boisterous group enjoys making people smile with their inventory and their customer service.

Judy Oman called their dedication to making A Cat and the Fiddle A Fair a unique shopping event, "divine ambition."

"What we've got here seems unstoppable," she added.

To fill the additional space Snyder has taken on quite a few new vendors and is looking for more. Additionally, Snyder said they will feature more events during their open weekends including kids activities, food vendors and entertainment such as live musicians.

"It will be a whole day event where people can just get lost in the houses," said Snyder.