OHIO VALLEY — Bob and Corena Barnitz started Bob’s Market in 1970 with a small produce stand in Pomeroy, Ohio. By 1976 their business had grown and the couple made the decision to devote all their efforts to what has become Bob’s Market and Greenhouses.
Bob’s Market stocks a variety of plants, fresh seasonal produce, and local honey and jams at their area locations in Mason, West Virginia, Gallipolis, Ohio and Belpre, Ohio. Bob’s Market even has locations in Atlanta, Georgia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Their five sons and other family members have joined the business and work alongside their parents to ensure the continued success and growth of both the market and greenhouses, with corporate headquarters located in Mason.
According to daughter-in-law Anna Barnitz, not only is the family dedicated to the business, so are their many loyal employees.
“We have 145 full time employees, and that number expands to around 195 during our spring season. Some have worked here for over 25 years,” Barnitz said. “And we could not do it all without them.”
She said that even during the pandemic when other businesses had to lay off employees, they were able to keep everyone on staff.
“Our business has remained steady, and we even added more greenhouse space,” she continued. “This spring everyone has been wanting soft product much earlier than usual, with the warm weather they are excited to plant. Our concern is that the temperatures will drop again and the plants will freeze, so we do advise caution.”
A large number of their annuals are shipped to retailers across the region (and country) — their first 40 truckloads left the greenhouses March 16.
Plans for the 50th anniversary celebration of Bob’s Market and Greenhouses in 2020 were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, and Barnitz said there will be no official open house this year due to continued concerns. The market is open for business, and the greenhouses are monitored to make sure everyone is maintaining protocols.
“We decided not to have an open house this year due to social distancing concerns, we are trying not to draw a large crowd at an event due to the continued restrictions in both Ohio and West Virginia,” she said. “We are bringing stock from our greenhouse to our retail markets now and welcome visitors, we just want to make sure everyone stays safe.”
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.