The Peach Truck's inaugural Small Town Peach Tour swings back through Hamilton and Bradley counties on Monday, July 21. Stops in Coffee County follow in the next two weeks.
Nashville residents Stephen and Jessica Rose, previously in Chattanooga for a Crafted by Southern Hands event at Warehouse Row, plan three stops Monday. They'll start the morning at Tractor Supply in Cleveland, set up midday at Ace Hardware in Ooltewah and finish the afternoon at East Ridge Hardware.
The Roses began transporting fresh peaches from Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, Ga., to Nashville in 2012. This year, they've set up a circuit to deliver the just-picked summer fruit to residents in 23 small towns in three states during the three months peaches are in season.
Monday, July 21
■ 9-10 a.m. Tractor Supply, 2850 Keith St. NW, Cleveland
■ Noon-1:30 p.m. Ace Hardware, 9231 Old Lee Highway, Ooltewah
■ 2:30-4 p.m. East Ridge Hardware, 5337 Ringgold Road
Saturday, July 26
■ 9-10:30 a.m. Gondola House, 412 E. Carrroll St., Tullahoma
Saturday, Aug. 2
■ 8-9:30 a.m. Beans Creek Winery, 426 Ragsdale Road, Manchester
"We started The Peach Truck with the simple idea that people should be able to access fresh Georgia peaches right off the tree," Stephen Rose says in a news release. "Nashville was the start of that vision, and we're thrilled that folks across Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio will have access to the same experience."
Raised near a fifth-generation family peach farm, Stephen says he found it incomprehensible that he couldn't find fresh peaches after moving to Nashville. So he and Jessica traded in their car for an old Jeep truck and began selling the fresh fruit by the bagful at farmers markets around Music City. Within the first five weeks of their business, they say, they sold more than 10 tons of peaches.
Their business model is based on "no middlemen, no markup and, most important, no unnecessary handling that risks the possibility of bruising one single peach."