“This is going to be a big community party” | Messages


Cadillac Night Market Champion Marla Courtney stands behind the checkout counter of her miniature and antique store, Mildred and Mary. Courtney is hosting a Thursday night market at the Cadillac Commons beginning June 2nd.

CADILLAC – music, food, vendors and community; everything will be found at the Cadillac Night Market. Beginning in June, local business owner Marla Courtney will be hosting a brand new market on the Cadillac Commons every Thursday from 4pm to 9pm.

After her recent move to Cadillac from Traverse City, Courtney said her personal mission is to integrate with the community and experience all that it has to offer. One evening, after locking up her storefront, she decided to head down to the gazebo and listen to one of the many local music groups that perform in the park throughout the summer. Looking around, the crowd wasn’t nearly as big as she’d expected.

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Courtney’s Cadillac Night Market themed shelf in her store, Mildred and Mary. The market takes place every Thursday evening in line with the summer concerts that take place in the pavilion.

“I’m like ‘huh? what she said “And I mean, it was like it was Motown one week and Funk the next. They had this jazz pianist from Chicago and nobody goes.”

The general purpose of the market is to give local businesses and organizations exposure, as is Courtney’s Mildred and Mary Miniature and Antiques shop at 108 Beech St.

The theme of the store is Courtney’s two grandmothers, Mildred and Mary, both of whom had very tall and very different personalities. Throughout the store, shoppers will find family photos, anecdotes, handmade maps, jewelry, walls lined with miniatures and antiques.

“One of the concepts of the storefront is that people come in and tell their stories and then maybe go home and get inspired,” Courtney said. “What I would love would be a grandmother and her daughter and grandchild coming over and doing a workshop.”

Grandma Mildred was a top-notch cook and handyman, while Mary was “a real Rosie the Riveter,” who drove trucks and played baseball. Courtney spent much of her childhood learning invaluable skills from both women and her experience was the inspiration for the multitude of workshops offered at Mildred and Mary. Customers can call ahead and schedule a time block to learn decoupage, crochet, floral design, Ukrainian egg making, and more.

“As you get older, the things you learn when you’re younger just stay with you, and then you learn more,” Courtney said. “That led to teaching myself to crochet, quilt and all these different artistic forms, which then led me to miniatures.”

Courtney allocates 10% of profits from various item categories to a related charity. For example, she enjoys photographing her rescue dog, Sir Edward, in free-to-use artwork such as the Mona Lisa, and applying the illustrations to jewelry, stickers, and postcards. Of all profits made specifically from Eddie merchandise, 10% is donated to Wexford County Animal Control.

Similarly, 10% of mini wins will be donated to Dementia Awareness in memory of Courtney’s mother.

The other facet of Courtney’s community outreach efforts is to provide a place for local artists to promote their work.

“It can be a place where maybe an artist who can’t afford a storefront can come in and have a little shelf in here,” she said.

In addition to selling her work, Courtney hopes to involve artists in her workshops, where they can teach others the basic skills needed to create something themselves.

When Courtney drew up plans for the night market, she wanted to uphold her mission of giving back to her community, and she plans to do so with the help of a previous employer. Floral design is Courtney’s passion and it was her full-time career before she took early retirement to look after her mother and help her disabled son become self-sufficient. Though she’s transitioned to pure contract flower work, she has maintained a connection with the BlueBridge Events Center in Traverse City.

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Cadillac Night Market Master Marla Courtney (left) and her son Logan.

After a wedding, birthday, or retirement party, floral arrangements are often left behind, and instead of throwing them in the trash, BlueBridge donates her leftover arrangements to Courtney, which she then recycles into items for her store. But even she can’t use every leftover stem, so she plans to set up a market stall for her son Logan to sell bouquets of flowers, and 100% of the profits will be donated to the After 26 Depot Café.

“The great thing is that brides and grooms know their flowers are going to a really good cause,” Courtney said. “For my son it will give him experience and help him learn how to be social and if any of the (after 26) staff want to help with the market I would love that.”

Anyone can have a booth at the Cadillac Night Market for $20, but Courtney said she hopes local businesses will want to get involved and have a booth with items from their business. Since the market will be located in Cadillac’s social district, she also wants people to have picnics with food and drinks from their favorite local eatery or food truck.

Thursday night markets begin June 2nd and last through Labor Day. Courtney is still researching participating creatives and local businesses. Anyone interested can get in touch via the Cadillac Night Market Facebook page.


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