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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2019 4 days ago

Nashville-based The Peach Truck visits Ocoee

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The Peach Truck recently made a stop in Ocoee, bringing with it thousands of pounds of fresh, authentic Georgia peaches.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

Few things are more refreshing in the summer heat than that first bite of fresh fruit.

Georgia native Stephen Rose knows that — specifically, he knows that Georgia peaches picked straight off the tree always taste the best. It’s why the Nashville resident decided to tap into his childhood and bring the fresh peaches he loves to more people. Thus, The Peach Truck was born — and it made a stop at Old Time Pottery in Ocoee Wednesday, June 12.

“I grew up down in Fort Valley, Georgia, right in the middle of the state where all Georgia peaches are grown,” Rose said. “During summer you’re eating fresh peaches off the tree and it’s part of life. I moved to Nashville in 2010 and we’re a state away from the farm, but there was nothing like what I grew up eating. Really (opening The Peach Truck) was to solve my own peach problem here, but I also thought maybe I could make some money on the side.”

Rose and his wife, Jessica, took a trip back to his hometown farm and decided to partner with it to bring the peaches to both Nashville residents and people around the country. In summer 2012 the couple bought a 1964 Jeep truck and began selling Georgia peaches out of their cab in Nashville. 

It took off that first year and they began shipping peaches nationwide. And in 2013, The Peach Truck Tour began.

“It just was around Tennessee and a little bit of Kentucky to start and … this year is the first year we’re touring in Texas and Florida,” Rose said. “A lot is just what makes sense geographically and then we … look for (location) partnerships for our stops.” 

The team will typically make around five to six stops in a day in any given geographical area, and for that reason the stops are quick. When The Peach Truck came to Ocoee, it was only able to visit for an hour. Other stops it made on the same day included stints in Orlando, Orange City, Casselberry and Apopka.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Rose said. “It really is a festive feel and we bring a lot of peach lovers together which is exciting. Really it’s super festive and people refer to it as a mini peach festival. Even when you’re in line it’s exciting; a lot of times people swap recipes when they’re waiting. You get peaches, and you can take a picture in front of the truck if you want.”

New this year is the Roses’ recipe book, called “The Peach Truck Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes for All Things Peach.” The couple has worked on this project for two years now and it is set to officially release on June 25, but those who drop by a tour stop had the opportunity to purchase a copy ahead of time.

When the Roses and their team aren’t taking The Peach Truck on tour, they’re spending the “offseason” planning.

“It’s a little crazy, it’s kind of like we’re baseball players,” Rose said with a laugh. “We have an offseason that’s super slow and we’re just generating ideas for the next year. We have a preseason — February to mid May — when we’re putting plans together for the season, and summer is all about executing plans, making sure the crop is great and the marketing is great, and getting a million pieces moving. 

“Summer is all about getting peaches into as many people’s hands as possible,” he said. “My wife and I get to work together, and we’re super thrilled with what has happened and how the business has grown.”

If you missed The Peach Truck in Ocoee this time around, don’t worry — the team ships fresh peaches to 35 states, including Florida. You can also keep up with The Peach Truck on social media to stay up to date on future tour dates, as well as other updates.

All in all, Rose said, the best part about his job is bringing joy — and fresh, juicy Georgia peaches — to people’s lives.

“People don’t often get to taste what it is we bring because it’s so hard to find a good peach,” he said. “Over and over again we get to remind people of their childhood and our team really is incredible, so it’s all around a joyful experience for everybody and we love being a part of it.”

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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