Mann’s Market is the go-to supplier for a combination of fresh produce and great service in White Bluff.
Owner-operator Jimmy Mann said that he sees his role of service to the community as a privilege and blessing.
“We’ve been right here in Middle Tennessee at White Bluff since 1976,” he said. “My dad was in the Air Force, in Nashville as a recruiter. He retired, and we just stayed here.”
Brady Mann, Jimmy’s father, opened Brady Mann’s Produce Market in 1994.
“My dad used to run an auction house right here in White Bluff in the early 80s,” Jimmy Mann said. “It was located in an old funeral home. He moved to several buildings in White Bluff and Dickson. In 1994, Dad found the spot where we are now.”
Jimmy said that his dad also sold furniture and produce, and had a grill outside where he’d cook chickens and barbecue.
“It was right where the Salt and Pepper Grill is now,” Jimmy Mann said. “Cindy Lou’s Kitchen on Main used to be the BBQ Shack where my older brother Brady, Jr. barbecued. Dad likes produce and grilling. When Mama and Daddy retired, my brother took over and ran it for five or six years. My sister, Lynn, and her husband, Gary Mayberry, ran it for about five years. I retired from the police department after 27 years in March 2020. My sister didn’t want to do the market anymore. So, I took it over. Put it up for sale, but there were no takers. I told my Dad I’d open it back up when I retired.”
He said he has been amazed by the success of the business.
“We’ve had people come from Florida,” he said. “We’ve got Montgomery Bell (State Park) down the road. They’ll go down there and camp; and then they’re here just about every day. Once they find us here, they’ll come in. As far local people in Tennessee, we’ve had them drive from Lebanon, Murfreesboro, and Cookeville. They see us on Facebook.”
Mann provided a list of the popular items.
“Top sellers are sugar babies (small watermelons),” he said. “Tomatoes are always a top seller. Of course, we always try to keep the tomatoes as fresh as we can. My daddy prided himself in not selling a hot house tomato and wouldn’t bring them on the lot. So, I follow his footsteps.”
Hot house tomatoes (and other hot house items) are those that are grown in a greenhouse.
“The big thing for us is taste,” he said. “They’ve got to taste like a ripe tomato; but if I know it’s a hot house tomato, I won’t bring it on the lot. Last year there were a couple days I didn’t have any tomatoes because I couldn’t find anything but hot house tomatoes. Hothouse-grown tomatoes are so common that tomatoes sold on the stem or with stickers stating that they are vine ripened, no longer indicates that the tomatoes were grown outdoors.”
He also becomes a buyer for locally grown produce at times.
“When gardens are growing, I tell people if they have more than they’ll use to bring it up, and I’ll buy it. I’ll give you market price, and we’ll sell it here. I’m tickled with having local produce. If everybody went back to having gardens, and it put me out of business; well then, I’d find something else to do. We buy a lot from the Amish like watermelons and cantaloupes. We keep local fresh as possible each day. I leave at 4:30 a.m. to go pick up stuff,” he said.
Mann said he has 28 acres at home, but quickly added that corn is the only thing he’s growing there.
“Amish made furniture is sold too – picnic tables, swings, gliders, rocking chairs,” he said. “And prices for produce change all the time. For example, watermelon can get as high as $10 then as low as $4.50. Tomatoes go up and down. Last year, corn was too high.”
City of Dickson Senior Center director Joan Rial said that she appreciates Mann’s support of the Center.
“I love Mann’s Market,” said Rial. “He has great watermelons that I have to get weekly. Also, Jimmy has been wonderful about donating veggies to the Senior Center.”
Chuck Rota, the owner of the Salt and Pepper Grill in White Bluff, is a big fan of Mann’s Market.
“When you walk in you are treated as if you are family,” said Rota. “Cindy and Jimmy go above and beyond to service us at Salt and Pepper with any need we have.”
Amy Davis Bruce, the owner of Sky King Pizza in Kingston Springs, has a favorite purchase from the market.
“Mann’s Market is so handy,” she said. “And they have delicious tomatoes that are great for our Caprese salads.”