One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
In 1959, while working in the solid waste and landfill business, George Bumb had an idea. There had to be a profitable way to keep the perfectly usable items he saw tossed out from ending up in landfills. Hearing of the success of swap meets just getting started in LA, Bumb headed south to research how these So Cal meets were run and organized.
He saw a way to improve on the idea. He took what he saw and expanded it to include individual merchant stalls, and made the whole process simpler for vendors by offering on-site product storage during the week.
In March of 1960, with a meager investment, the San Jose Flea Market opened on farmland on Berryessa Road in San Jose, a narrow country lane surrounded by orchards. The first office, built and staffed by Bumb and family members, housed the only restroom and limited snack bar.
This year, we celebrate 50 years of providing our community with a way to make money selling great stuff; save on a myriad of household items, tools, entertainment, fresh produce and a variety of services; and spend a day together as a family shopping, eating, and playing. We’ve been a community and family tradition to several generations, and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.
Fun Facts about the San Jose Flea Market
- 20 sellers and 100 curious customers were present the day the flea market opened in March, 1960.
- More than 4 million people visit us each year.
- Today’s San Jose Flea Market now spans more than 120 acres.
- Our farmer’s market is over a ¼ mile long.
- On any given weekend, more than 500 employees are working to make our visitors’ experiences pleasant and memorable.
- Every week we host more than 6000 vendors.
- There are more than 30 snack bars featuring everything from our famous corn dogs to mouth-watering BBQ, to authentic tacos.
- More than 60 smaller food carts offer a huge variety of delicious goodies including ice cream, fruit, popcorn, churros, lemonade and beer.
- In the Best Seller, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini wrote about working and meeting his future wife here.
- Our brand new FunZone features cool kiddie rides including a Ferris wheel, bounce houses, and an antique merry-go-round.