Matriarch behind Bergey's Breadbasket in Chesapeake dies on Easter Sunday

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Posted at 1:18 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 17:37:31-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Crowds line up, eager to get inside Bergey's Breadbasket in Chesapeake Wednesday morning.

"We are now in the fourth generation of Bergey's in the operation," said Harold Bergey.

While it appears to be business as usual, there is a somber tone on the expansive farm, petting zoo and deli.

"She was 93 years old and went out on Resurrection Day. That's not a bad choice," said Harold.

Harold, one of seven children, lost his mother and the matriarch of the family, Mary Bergey, Easter Sunday.

"She led the way for us," he said.

Bergey's Dairy Farm opened in 1933. The recipes here for the famous bread, pies and more are all from Mary's Amish upbringing. A fan favorite: her cinnamon rolls.

"In the months before she passed away, she had a line about rolls. She said, 'I used to make them; now I eat them,' and she had one every day,'" Harold says.

Aunt Mary, as she was known, was a lover of music.

"She was a walking hymn book," Harold said.

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She also loved playing the guitar, practicing her Mennonite faith and, of course, her very large but tight-knit family.

The legacy of Mary Bergey now lives on inside this nearly 90-year-old institution, her spirit inside every loaf of bread, pie, roll and ice cream.

"We plan to carry on the best we can," said Harold.