Family opens Barn Fresh Vintage Market in Gilbertsville

Photo by Rebecca Blanchard Denise Berner, center, her husband Josh and daughter Reina with the family companion Tory.

What started as a hobby has now become a way of life for one woman and her family.

Denise Berner, of Boyertown, started off buying and selling at local flea markets and is now celebrating the opening of family’s very own vintage antique shop—Barn Fresh Vintage Market.

In early Sept., Barn Fresh Vintage Market, located at 311 County Line Road in Gilbertsville, opened its doors to buyers and sellers.

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Denise, originally from Souderton, never expected to have her own store.

“I grew up this way,” said Denise. “My parents took me to flea markets and auctions, though I didn’t appreciate it at the time.”

A couple of years ago Denise began by buying and selling items at Jake’s Flea Market and with her husband Josh and daughter Reina Paredes. Denise noticed there were many children’s items and baby clothes—not to variety she was looking for.

Denise linked into yard sale sites on Facebook to sell her items and to find out about things in the area. According to Denise, Facebook has been a great tool for spreading the word—to buyers and sellers.

A friend gave Denise the idea to start her own site to sell her items. In July of 2012 Denise launched Eastern Pa Vintage, creating a place for vendors to buy and sell for free.

In Nov. 2012, Denise and her group of vendors teamed up with the Gilbertsville Fire House Flea Market and have been working with them ever since, filling the halls.

“My husband and I decided that since we liked this, love vintage and have a passion for it, that we’d try it ,” said Denise. The shop has been a year in the making; vendors have been the main concern.

“We don’t want just anything,” said Denise, noting her interest in vintage, antique, and up-cycled items. Up-cycling, the act of taking ‘trash’ and making it useful again, is of particular interest to Denise. “It brings a new purpose, gives the item new life.”

She also spoke about the use of chalk paint to give furniture a new life.

“We don’t want every vendor having the same things; need a little bit of everything for the store,” said Reina.

The shop serves as place for vendors to sell their items without having to be present. There a place reserved in the front of the store for the family’s picks.

“We have certain tastes; farm and architectural stuff--anything that has a history,” said Denise. “We love digging to try to find treasure. We find a lot of good things doing that and we love it.”

“Everything has a price,” said Josh, as Denise reminded him of the curly maple piece he came across and has yet to place a price on.

Pyrex is one guilty pleasure that Denise couldn’t deny, stating that she tries to match sets.

The family noted that they’ve made a lot of connections and friends by going to flea markets, and many friends have helped them get the store underway.

“I love to be here more than school,” said Reina. “I’m so proud of my mom for taking the initiative; I have a lot of faith in this.”

Barn Fresh Vintage Market is now gearing up for holiday season ahead and will be participating in the Berks Best Kept Secrets tour from Nov. 8 to Nov. 20.