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Berti’s Hancock Bridge Market has old-style flair

By Staff | Sep 25, 2008

The long awaited Berti’s Hancock Bridge Market has opened on Hancock Bridge Parkway, across from the Marinatown complex. It is “family friendly and farm fresh,” according to owners and managers.

The building and store have been under construction for many months. The building design and the offerings are the old Florida/old South Carolina style, said Tim Berti, who owns the market along with his wife, Crissy.

“We brought in a lot of antiques, and our produce is out front, like stands on the side of a road,” he said. “The fresh produce is the first thing you see.”

There are Nehi sodas and Route 66 Root Beers that also have the nostalgic feel.

“People do love the produce, and they love to come to a place with this hometown kind of feeling,” added Dawn Taylor, the market’s manager who has more than 20 years experience in the grocery business in the north.

She recently moved here to manage the store.

“I met Tim and loved this concept,” she said.

Besides the fresh produce, the store features a deli, with deli meats and cheeses, and sandwiches and entrees made daily.

“We tried to create our own sandwiches and worked with a chef on them,” said Berti.

Some creations are standards, like roast beef, while others are more exotic, like the Tropical Wrap and Sweet Home Alabama.

There is lots of food to go, including single-serving fresh meals wrapped and ready for sale like roasted chicken and mashed potatoes or a calzone and salad.

Fresh flowers are available from local vendor Doug Zipperer Farms, which is one of the largest gladiola growers in the United States. Working with local vendors is important to him, said Berti.

There is a large wine selection, with standard and unique bottles, from the Francis Ford Coppla’s collection to what market personnel consider their house wine — H3.

“We have a wide range of wines you won’t see in a lot of places,” said Berti.

Besides deli cheeses, there are also gourmet cheeses, dips and preserves. Country bread kits are additional interesting features of the store. There are also convenience items, the household basics.

Penny candy in barrels adds to the country charm.

“We wanted to bring that feeling from when you were a little kid your mom said you could have one or two. We wanted to bring that back,” said Taylor.

There are also steaks available and a fresh seafood area.

“We have a variety of fresh and frozen seafood. We have king crab, tuna steaks, clams, mussels, we get all of that,” Taylor said.

Check for daily offerings and specials.

A businessman in the area for many years, Berti is a local resident who has lived here since he was 10 years old.

“I saw when Oaks Farms left here years ago there wasn’t anything like this,” he said of his concept for the store.

While the style is old-fashioned, it does have modern twists. You can fax in your order and have it ready to go. Fax order forms, along with menus, are available on the market’s Web site.

“We’ll also have events coming up on Saturdays beginning in a few weeks,” said Berti. “Last weekend we had a bluegrass band, and we’re getting ready to schedule things every Saturday.”

That could include anything from music to pony rides to hot air balloons, he said.

You can check the store’s Web site, www.bertismarket.com, for coming events and more information.

Berti’s Hancock Bridge Market is located at 1001 Palm Ave. The telephone number is 656-1068, and the fax number is 656-4273.