Fresh Produce and Family Legacy

A stand full of vegetables and fruitsPhoto from the Burger's and Berry's Facebook page, used with permission

By Brian Benefield

For more articles on food in Cobb County follow this link to all our Second Helpings columns by Brian Benefield.

The Burger sisters have farming in their blood, literally.

Tina and Sharilyn Burger remember their Grandparents selling a surplus of corn from the family farm in the back of a pick-up truck, and that’s where it all began.

As that make-shift store grew in popularity, her parents saw the need for a physical location and opened Burger’s Market on Canton Rd in 1972.

Tina said, “there were some lean times in the beginning” and recalls her parents using banana crates for their cribs at the store behind the cash registers when they were young.

The sisters basically grew up there and learned the value of hard work from their parents early. Since its opening, the store has gained many loyal customers and has been a staple in the community for many years.

They were selling everything from locally sourced produce, being well known for actual vine-ripe tomatoes, silver queen corn, peaches, apples of all types, and many varieties of fresh flowers to plant in your garden. Keeping with tradition, they would buy jams, loaves of bread, pickles, and other yummy goodies from small-town farms and unequivocally believe in supporting others who support them.  

Tina and her sister are very salt-of-the-earth kind of people that like to get to know you, discuss how they concoct recipes that they use in their kitchens from what they sell, and in turn, listen to what their customers are fixing for Sunday supper with the bounty they purchased.

Over the years, they have bought produce from local farms all over the Southeast for resale in their store and buy from the State Farmers Market.

Sadly, the much-beloved store closed three years ago, and Tina said, “it was like losing a family member and very emotional.”

I had shopped in that store for well over ten years and was genuinely sad when they closed, so as a remembrance, I bought a jar of their sweet potato butter to keep in my cupboard, not to eat but to think of Tina and Sharilyn each time I saw it.  

After the store closed, Tina landed a job coaching kids early sports fundamentals, and Sharilyn worked in assisted living. The pandemic caused the loss of Tina’s employment, and she, like many others, had to figure something out and fast.

She had the idea of letting her long-time regular customers place orders for a mixed produce box, the word got around quickly on social media, and soon she was busy again doing what she has always known and loved. That evolved into what is now known as Burger’s and Berry’s Pop Up Market.

The community was ecstatic to see them back in business, so much so that people waited in line for hours to buy quality produce and get long overdue, sometimes teary-eyed greetings from Tina and Sharilyn.

They have two pop-up locations on Saturday/Sunday, and see the link below for the locations and times.

Indeed a family legacy, the Burger family is a valuable fabric of our community. If you haven’t visited their new pop-up shops, then you are missing out not only on fresh, delicious veggies but getting to know Tina, Sharilyn and seeing firsthand how hard they work to help keep our neck of the woods well-nourished in our bellies and our spirits.