A few weeks ago, midway through hacking into a grocery store tomato with the less than tantalizing texture of styrofoam, we temporarily lost our mind. At the height of tomato season, why on earth were we subjecting ourselves to this genetic freak of a fruit? The short answer? Because we happen to live in Midtown. Oh sure, there’s a bounty of hipster intown Farmers Markets competing with each other every weekend (see the official Atlanta magazine Farmers Market Guide here). Alas, our idea of fun is not the produce-shopping-as-a-contact-sport that can be found at certain farmers markets at 8:01 each Saturday morning. Throwing elbows for fresh okra just doesn’t appeal to us (overzealous Morningside Farmers Market shoppers, we’re looking at you. . .). So, what to do on a Tuesday afternoon when Midtown dwellers crave a juicy tomato for a BLT or fresh local produce for supper?
Brothers Jeff and Matt Bowman of Georgia Farm to Table were clearly reading our mind. A few weeks ago, their brand-new produce stand Dewberry Market appeared like a mirage on the corner of Peachtree and 10th Streets. Inside the blistering hot stand, Jeff Bowman stood grinning, happy to load up bags full of produce from local farmers and give us the nickel tour (just be sure to bring cash money as the Bowmans are still working on installing a debit card machine).
“We’re trying to fill a void here in Midtown and at the same time assist local and regional farmers get their produce to market,” Jeff Bowman explained. On the day we popped in, early autumn apples had already arrived from Blue Ridge, Georgia, peppers from Alabama were plentiful and late season peaches from Spartanburg, South Carolina were ripe and ready. The Georgia Farm to Table Facebook page keeps followers updated on the latest arrivals (Tuesday morning’s post announced a fresh delivery of heirloom tomatoes from Rabun County and Silver Queen corn).
The brothers (who also operate their Tradition Trees Christmas tree business each holiday season) are also looking to expand the Dewberry Market concept in various pockets of the city in the coming months.
“We’re trying to put the focus back on these local farmers and to help serve as a liaison between them and the intown customer,” Bowman said. While parking in the area remains problematic, Bowman said they are working with the owners of the adjacent parking lot to allocate two spaces for produce customers. Local office workers and seniors living in a nearby high rise have already become regulars.
Said Bowman: “We’ve got folks who work in the offices around here who come in at lunch and shop for dinner, telling us, ‘I’ll be back at 6!'” The brothers are also planning to install refrigeration units in order to stock more perishable salad fixings. Dewberry Market hours are 11 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The market is closed on Sundays.