For many years, the typical Round Top experience included traipsing through the fields, sweating under Texas sun, enduring wind, rain or mud – all part of the thrill of the hunt.
For vendors, setting up under tents had its challenges. Some vendors would opt to leave a few pieces behind, not wanting to expose them to the elements.
Paul and Debbie Michael, founders of the Paul Michael Company, would make the trip to this antique mecca to secure special pieces for their four stores located in Lake Village, Arkansas, Lafayette and Monroe, Louisiana, and Canton, Texas.
At each show, Paul would wonder what he could do to make the shopping experience better and to encourage more vendors to come and to bring more of their selections which would in turn bring more visitors. The idea for Market Hill began to take shape, to create a comfortable shopping experience for vendors and shoppers alike.
Soon, Paul was purchased 22 acres of land, just north of Round Top along Highway 237. In 2016, he designed and built the 130,000-SF space with seven buildings under one roof with wide breezeways and large doors to make loading of antiques easier.
“I believed in Paul’s concept of bringing comfort to the Round Top experience,” Ender Tasci of The Elephant Walk says of his friend Paul. “Our venue provides an incredible amount of the most reputable dealers with their exceptional selection of merchandise. Our climate-controlled showrooms, food and all the other amenities makes it a refuge for so many people visiting Round Top,”
Paul Michael Company takes up 11,000-SF at the center of the structure with about 18 vendors filling the remaining showroom space, plus there’s the Restaurant at Market Hill with kitchen and dining area and restrooms. Amenities also include WiFi and parking.
The word that comes up most often when vendors describe Market Hill is the experience.
Vendor Don Orwig says, “Market Hill is just this kind of experience. A unique collection of some of the very best dealers who set-up at the Round Top shows. Most have years of experience, generous personalities, and a great desire to give the customers a warm and comfortable shopping trip, plus the food at Market Hill is the absolute best of any of the fields.”
Susan Horne agrees and describes how much easier it is on vendors, “As a vendor at Market Hill, the experience that Paul Michael has created for us is amazing in so many ways. Our containers arrive right to our space and Market Hill provides help with the unloading, the installation of lighting, the placement of heavy items and so much more. The support I receive during and after the set up takes the stress out of doing a show. It really is enjoyable! I am thrilled to be able to have a presence at a unique, friendly and beautiful destination such as Market Hill.”
“I never dreamed that a venue like this could exist here in Round Top,” says Stephanie Wheeler, fine art painter and Market Hill vendor. “But Paul Michael did! And thank goodness for that! My customers have really appreciated all of the creature comforts that our venue has to offer. From wonderful food options to easy parking and of course A/C, Paul Michael and his team help in every way possible to deliver a fantastic experience for the shopper as well as the vendors.”
For a first-time vendor, Stacy Graubart started as a shopper at Market Hill. “This is my first experience as a vendor at Market Hill, but I have been a shopper at Market Hill since it first opened and am a huge fan. It is a unique shopping experience, as you have a large selection of quality vendors literally under one roof. There is no problem with wind, rain, or the hot Texas sun. It is the easiest shopping experience in all of Round Top as far as I am concerned,” Stacy says.
Vikki Vines of Gallery Auctions adds, “Part of what I think is exceptional about Market Hill is the design of the business itself. This is the most well-planned building! It is perfectly suitable to buyers and vendors. The management has a special vision. They are leaders in creating an environment that is appealing, provides all amenities from the food, the lighting, the parking, the late shopping - the complete experience. The variety of the vendors is so impressive with so many different items to enjoy.
Market Hill is open daily and offers lunch and dinner service. Sitting down at the family-style table, having a glass of wine and sharing stories from the fields is a great way to unwind after a long day.
Location and contact info:
1542 Highway 237
Round Top, TX 78954
9 a.m.-9 p.m.
March 15-April 8