Burnette Farms at home in Pelham

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“‘Don’t you wish we could have our own market every day?’ he’d ask me,” Mary Charles Burnette said speaking of her husband, Mike Burnette. “We both had that dream—of owning and running our own farmer’s market.”

On April 1, 2017, the Burnette family awoke to that dream come true at their new business home when Burnette Farms Market opened on Helena Road in Pelham. While they had been selling produce from their fourth-generation Thorsby family farm at farmers’ markets at Auburn, Alabama and various Birmingham area locations including The Market at Pepper Place, that April morning transformed the Burnettes into farmer’s market owners.

“What a day that was!” said Jenny Burnette, Mary Charles and Mike’s daughter. “We could only guess how much business we would have. We nearly sold out of everything.”

What began as a simple market with fresh produce has grown to a full-service business. The family has added coolers to shelf Pelham vendors’ Spoon & Ladle Soups, an assortment of fresh breads and cakes, and many other items. They’ve also added a boutique with girls’ and ladies’ clothing, and Spring 2018 will bring the addition of an ice cream parlor.

How does the family feel about giving up their traveling ways since they’ve established their business in Pelham? While they do admit to missing some of the old friends they made at other markets, the Burnettes are happy in Pelham.

“We love Pelham,” Mary Charles Burnette said. “Our customers here are wonderful. One of them brought us some of his daughter’s birthday cake the other day. Customers check in on us just to see what’s new—and we love that. We love that we have many customers we know by name.”

The Burnettes say that tomatoes and peaches have been big sellers. With fall coming, many staples will still be available including Amish butter and other Amish goods. Additional fall finds will include fresh pecans, pumpkins, and around Thanksgiving, Christmas trees will be on sale.

For more information, check out Burnette Farms Market on Facebook.