Area market, winery offering takeout meals

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

The COVID-19 crisis has challenged Shelby County business owners to come up with innovative ways to stay afloat. Corbin Farms Winery in Calera and Burnette Farms Market & Café in Pelham are both rising to the occasion by offering to-go meals.

By ordering takeout, customers can enjoy fresh food without breaking social distancing guidelines, all the while helping local businesses.

“Our business model has swapped from typical table service to all takeout/curbside service,” said Carley Corbin of Corbin Farms Winery. “We have meals to go, prepared chilled meals ready to heat in the oven, as a preorder/prepaid option. We will also have takeout of a modified menu available as well.”

The winery operates a restaurant onsite but has rarely had people to order takeout. But as residents find themselves unable to gather in public, the new temporary lifestyle has changed the way people dine.

The winery, owned by Gary and Donna Corbin, primarily produces vinifera wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and others. They also offer a selection of local Alabama fruit wines including muscadine, peach, pear and several others.

“We’re grateful for all of the support we’ve received from Shelby County and so thankful to be surrounded with people trying to frequent small businesses to help them survive this economic situation,” Corbin said.

Meanwhile, in Pelham, Burnette Farms Market & Café is taking the same approach by offering a 25-percent discount on all frozen prepared meals such as casseroles, soup, chili, chicken and dressing and more.

“Everybody’s just trying to survive right now,” said Manager Jenny Burnette. “This was a way for us to give back to the community and offer them this discount, and it was a way for us to stay afloat. These are things they can have in the freezer without having to eat just canned food.”

Burnette said the open-air atmosphere of the market provides a safer option for customers than the typical enclosed supermarket. Those who don’t wish to enter may send an email in advance with a list of items, and orders will be placed on an outside table for pickup in order to minimize contact.

“We call customers when (their order) is ready for pickup,” Burnette said.

In addition, the market has started carrying a few new items, such as ground beef, steaks, cheese, stick butter, sugar, rice, saltine crackers and even some cleaning products like gallon-size bleach.

The method seems to be working well thus far.

“Business is increasing every day” Burnette said.

Burnette Farms is located at 8551 Helena Road, Pelham, and may be reached at 205-730-9170, Burnettefarmsmarket.com or on Facebook. Hours vary depending on the season. The main farm is located in Chilton County, in the Thorsby area.

Corbin Farms Winery is located at 800 Shelby County Road 87, Calera, and may be reached at 205-685-0655 or on Facebook. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12-3 p.m.