Anthony Berry could see it in his wife’s eyes. For two years, after family-owned Burger’s Market closed in Marietta in 2018, Tina Burger Berry did other work, teaching Playball, a program with a variety of sport and movement plans for students, at local private schools. But nothing was the same.
It wasn’t like working at her farmer’s market, the one she literally grew up working in off Canton Road in Marietta. When the couple re-opened as Burger’s and Berry’s Popup Market in August 2020, however, the spark returned.
“Tina became herself again,” Anthony said. “She missed it. It’s like she was missing something and it came back to her.”
Tina had called her husband on a Tuesday last August about her idea to have customers place orders for fresh fruit, vegetables and more online. Customers would then drive through to pick up the orders. By Thursday, Anthony said, Tina called to say she wanted to start the market that weekend.
He was a little surprised but said, “OK.”
The first week, Tina had hoped to get 50 orders. Instead, a Facebook post about her new concept was shared hundreds of times and they had 250 orders.
“People really wanted to support those mom and pop places,” Tina said. “Our whole lives revolved around the market. It was a big thing for us to reopen on some level.”
Running a market is a family tradition and a couple tradition in Tina’s family. Her parents met at her father’s first market, in Dallas, Georgia, after he returned from the Navy. Tina’s grandmother worked there too. A few years later, they moved to the Marietta location.
Now Tina, who met Anthony at Sprayberry High School, is continuing that tradition with him; the couple has been married for 22 years.
“Our customers are like family to us,” Tina said. “We’re friends with everybody, we talk with everybody.”
At times in the early months, the line to pickup produce ran hours long. But there weren’t complaints. The Berrys were always met with the smiling faces of the Marietta community excited about this brave new venture.
Now, the process has changed. But the hospitality hasn’t. On Saturdays, they setup at Our Daily Bread Café, 531 Roselane Street, in Marietta. On Sundays, they’re in front of Busy B Plant Supply at 5721 Bells Ferry Road in Acworth.
The market takes orders ahead – due by 5 p.m. Thursdays – that are packed up and ready to go when customers arrive, with Anthony or their daughter, Payton, ready to read the order slip and make sure the refrigerated items get added. The market is also set up for same-day shoppers as well.
For Tina, it’s about the connection with the Marietta and Cobb County community. Customers from years past come by and speak about the old market weekly, keeping in touch and keeping in stock with fresh fruits and vegetables.
“I speak from my heart when I say we love this community and (we) are blessed to be a part of it,” Tina said.
The pop-up market is the same idea as the spot where Tina and her siblings grew up, the market that ran from 1972 to 2018 with her father, JD Burger, known as the “best tomato man in the Southeast.”
Tina and her sister, Sharilyn, and brother, Jay, grew up situated in banana baskets behind the counter of that original Burger’s Market. Now, Jay has his own produce supplying business while Sharilyn works with Tina at the popup.
“It still makes my heart patter,” Tina said of driving past the old store, which is surrounded by a fence but still dons the Burger’s Market name.
“Our whole lives were there. My sister and I are close in age, we’re a little over 8 months apart. They literally kept us in banana boxes behind the cash register because they couldn’t afford daycare.”
They sold the market in 2018, which helped Tina’s parents retire, but it was also time to move on from the larger building with more overhead.
Now, it’s Tina’s children, Payton (14) and Pressley (9), who spend their weekends helping out. They arrive and set up at the market around 5:30 a.m. each Saturday and then it’s on to the next stop in Acworth the next day.
Tina scours farmer’s markets and suppliers across the region, picking out the best produce and bringing it directly to her Cobb County customers each weekend. She has a few restaurant customers and makes special drop-offs to places like schools if enough teachers place orders collectively. Anthony works 60 hours each week – from Monday to Thursday – on his full-time job putting up power lines for a private contractor. But then he’s working at the market Thursday through Sunday. It’s a lot of hours, but it’s also a labor of love.
“I enjoy seeing the people that I met and became friends with while the store was open,” Anthony said.