The peach is one of the world’s greatest fruits.
A perfect bite of summer, intensely sweet with a high acid content, absurdly juicy. And yet most peaches are not this; they are poor, unworthy imitations, bland and mealy, dry and tasteless. Stephen Rose is trying to change that.
Rose, according to a profile in the Macon Telegraph, grew up in Fort Valley, Georgia, which happens to be located in Peach County (seriously). Georgia, with its steamy days and nights in the summertime, has long produced some of the country’s best peaches, even if it only ranks third in mass production. But the peach is indelibly tied to Georgia’s identity, and Rose, upon moving to Tennessee, was apparently dismayed by the lackluster peaches he found there.
So he bought a 1964 Jeep Gladiator truck, bought a truckload of peaches at wholesale prices from a peach grower friend in Georgia, and drove north, calling his new business the Peach Truck. That was in 2012. Over the past seven years, Rose has spent his summers driving his truck full of peaches all over the country, as far north as Michigan, darting east into western Pennsylvania, and hauling west all the way to San Antonio, Texas—and lots of places in between.
Promoted on social media, and with attractive packaging for online sales, the Peach Truck sells a box Georgia peaches for $42. That’ll score you 13 large peaches. It isn’t cheap, but it also isn’t any more expensive than other high-quality mail-order fruit, like Harry and David’s pears. (The price is lower if you join the long lines for the actual, physical truck.)
It’s been such a successful enterprise that Rose’s friend can no longer meet his demand, so Rose now sources his peaches from a total of three farms, all in Georgia. Rose and his wife Jessica even wrote a cookbook—all peach-themed, of course.