Nashville Gem: The Peach Truck
Last Friday we had the chance give away 100 bags of peaches from The Peach Truck. Through the course of the day, one thing became apparent: Nashvillians love peaches. Like, really love them. I’m talking in an emotional way.
We had to know more about this relationship and the story behind how the local phenomenon got started.
Meet Jessica Rose. She and her husband, Stephen, are co-owners. They started The Peach Truck almost 5 seasons ago.
How did this whole thing get started?
Stephen and I had just gotten married and moved to Nashville for his corporate gig. I’m from an entrepreneurial family, so I knew that working 9-5 kind of sucked. With me being from Seattle, and his family in Georgia, I knew that we’d be spending every vacation visiting one of the families.
And that would be it. That was going to be the rest of our lives. It felt so trapping.
Around the same time, we went back to Stephen’s home. I was eating the peaches, they were insanely good, and the idea naturally came up in conversation. We had this old truck, so we got creative and said “Let’s call it The Peach Truck.”
It started very simply – just as a hobby that first year. We’d work it on the side, after work or on the weekend. But then we saw the success and thought we might really be on to something.
Peaches hit on something, the string in the heart of southerners. We started hearing stories like “Oh, this reminds me of spending time on my grandma’s porch.” That’s when we knew we had to chase this.
What is the best thing about running The Peach Truck?
Seeing our team get the vision and selling with pride. Seeing how it affects the customers. Seeing them tear up.
There are crazy stories of people buying a bag of peaches and taking it to the hospital to enjoy with their father who is on his deathbed. So many sincere moments of bringing people back to simpler times.
What we do is really hard – these peaches were on the tree yesterday. And we have to sell them within a day or two to ensure the freshness, and we’re not a business that can sit on inventory. It’s a lot of work, but it’s those stories and moments that make it all worth it.
It sounds like Nashville really embraced the idea of peaches. Did you have a lot of community support?
I’m from Seattle, and I don’t think the company would have taken off there like it did here.
When we first started we spent two weeks knocking on restaurant doors, places we really loved, asking them “Would you buy peaches from us?” They said “Sure, we’ll give you a shot. Just bring them up.”
And when the peaches were good the chefs told all of their chef friends. Word spread, and we grew. Nashville so embraced us and celebrated us.
What I learned and love about this town is that there is enough to go around for everyone. When one person wins it doesn’t mean someone else loses. We can all win. We can all benefit. One thing I love about Nashville is that feeling of being loved and supported.
What about challenges? What has been the hardest part of running The Peach Truck?
There are so many hard parts to running any business. The big one for me is that you have to be honest with yourself as an owner. All problems end with you.
If your team isn’t running properly, that reflects on you. You have to take responsibility for it and correct it.
If your product isn’t up to snuff, that is on you.
As an owner, you have to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and ask if you are working as hard as you could be. Ask “Am I sharing the vision? Am I getting these things in line?”
It’s a pride thing. You want to protect your ego and blame other people, but it’s on you.
Switching gears a little. As an individual or a business owner, what is the best financial advice you’ve ever been given?
I’m a very practical person, so here is one: Rent before you buy.
People want to feel special and have their own office downtown, but really they could work from their dining room table for another 4 or 5 years and be fine. Rent everything you need until you feel the pain of “I need to buy this.” Don’t be too proud to borrow things or ask around for help. Be lean.
What does “financial freedom” mean to you?
We have a one-and-a-half year old, with two more on the way. There is no number. It’s about contentment with your life and being grateful.
We are time wealthy and that is huge. Being home with my kids. Having Steven around. We’ll get to be a family together. We’re able to create space and have room to make decisions. That is where real freedom comes from.
Alright, we know The Peach Truck is a Nashville Gem for many people, but what would you call a hidden gem of Nashville?
Oh, man! Who do I praise right now? There are so many. The new bar at Mas Tacos – we love Mas Tacos. The Burrata at Salt and Vine. Or, the Peach Pie at 5th and Taylor. All of them are amazing.
Want to hear more from The Peach Truck? Check out their website. Know of a Nashville business with a great story? We’d love to meet them. Shout them out in the comment section, or shoot us a tweet using the hashtag #getmore.