Third-generation pecan grower looks to expand 38 Pecans in Austin

The flavored pecan meal comes in six varieties and can be used in main-course or dessert dishes.

The flavored pecan meal comes in six varieties and can be used in main-course or dessert dishes.

Mark Walls spent 15 years in the software industry in Austin, but his mind always went back to Sunday drives with his grandfather on the family’s pecan orchard in Seguin.

“He told me the same story about the orchard every weekend, and he loved it,” said Walls, who owns the Seguin-based pecan wholesale company 38 Pecans, which operates a seasonal retail store in Northwest Austin. “Really he was just educating me on pecans and his endeavors, putting the place together and doing all the hard work.”

When his grandfather, a dentist, bought the orchard in the late 1940s, he did not know what to do with the more than 1,000 native pecan trees. After studying how to grow different types of pecans that are larger and more desirable than native pecans, Walls’ grandfather ended up with about 38 varieties, a number that inspired the company name.

Several decades later, Walls said he told his wife he had to get back to the family business.

“I told my wife my passion is really these pecans,” Walls said. “I always talked about it, and I always went back to it in conversation to our ranch and our orchard.”

Today the company has two orchards in Seguin with about 5,000 total trees managed by Walls’ father and a seasonal retail storefront on RM 620 that is open from mid-October through January.
Walls focuses on selling pecans in bulk as well as selling gift items to individuals and companies. One of 38 Pecans’ biggest clients is Texas-based produce supplier Hardie’s Fresh Foods, which distributes to restaurants throughout Texas.

Walls said he sees 38 Pecan’s production power as an opportunity to continue expanding. His goals include keeping the retail storefront open year-round, opening a second retail location and distributing to grocery store chains, chefs or restaurant groups.

“Anything that has to do with pecans, we want to be that storefront for Austin and the surrounding area,” he said.

Although Walls set ambitious goals, he said he wants to approach them methodically.

“Growth is good, but the right kind of growth is more important [and] having a strategy behind it is critical,” Walls said.

He said customers come to him with a common expectation that only a local, third-generation pecan grower can live up to.

“They’re looking for something that’s fresh; they know where it’s coming from; and it flat-out tastes good—period,” he said.

What is PECAN MEAL?
Pecan meal is the fine shavings of pecans created during the shelling process, 38 Pecans owner Mark Walls said. Plain pecan meal can be used as a flour substitute or for breading in baked or fried foods, but Walls worked with Manor-based spice company Southern Style Spices to develop the six flavors.

"A big focus of ours is try to really get that [product] out there, and not just in Texas but as far as it will go in the U.S.,” he said. Savory pecan meals can be used to bread chicken, pork chops or seafood, and the sweeter dessert meals can be used in pie crusts or on top of ice cream and cupcakes.

38 Pecans
10208 N. RM 620, Austin
512-766-6964
www.38pecans.com
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Sun.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Emma Whalen

Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.


MOST RECENT

The city of Austin issued a stay-at-home order March 24. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Coronavirus update: Second death confirmed in Austin, Travis County as local cases rise to 206

Keep up with updates from Travis County and Austin for the week of March 30 here.

Williamson County had 113 coronavirus test kits as of March 30. (Community Impact Staff)
Williamson County working to get more test kits, predicts late April peak for coronavirus

Williamson County epidemiologist Justine Price said she predicts the county’s coronavirus peak will hit between April 24-May 15.

Dr. Liam Fry speaks about two nursing home isolation facilities that will be coming to the Austin and Travis County areas on March 30 at the city of Austin's Combined Transportation, Emergency, and Communications Center. (Courtesy ATXN)
Facilities to isolate nursing home residents who test positive for coronavirus will be set up in Travis, Williamson counties

The facilities will be for individuals living at nursing homes who do not need hospitalization or have already been discharged from the hospital.

Austin Regional Clinic Cedar Park
Austin Regional Clinic launches 5 drive-up coronavirus testing locations

Austin Regional Clinic will open drive-up COVID-19 testing sites across five sites.

Leander mayor reduces city sign regulations, expands critical infrastructure construction to include development

Leander Mayor Troy Hill ordered the city to reduce regulations for business signs and broaden local critical infrastructure construction to include residential and commercial development.

(Courtesy Texas Health and Human Services)
Weekend numbers: Cedar Park, Leander cases nearly one-third of WilCo coronavirus total

Of the 42 total cases of confirmed coronavirus cases in Williamson County, nearly one-third of patients comes from Cedar Park and Leander

A new small office space rental business is under construction and plans to open in Leander in fall 2020. (Courtesy New Beginnings Inc.)
Small office rental business to open in Leander in fall 2020

A new small office space rental business is under construction and plans to open in Leander in fall 2020.

NBISD workers deliver meals to students at the Veramendi Elementary School meal pickup location March 17. (Courtesy New Braunfels ISD)
Elections, closures, instruction: See what Austin-area schools are doing in wake of coronavirus

During the coronavirus situation, schools have had to make changes in how they deliver instruction, meals, elections and more. Below is a roundup of what local schools are doing to serve students and families.

The Cedar Park and Leander chambers of commerce have online directories with updated information on what services and specials their members are providing. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Cedar Park, Leander chambers of commerce providing business updates, online specials

The Cedar Park and Leander chambers of commerce have online directories with updated information on what services and specials their members are providing.

Capital Metro station
All Capital Metro fares will be free throughout April

Beginning April 1, riders will not have to pay Capital Metro operators or use the farebox.

The first death from coronavirus was reported in Williamson County Saturday morning. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County reports first death related to coronavirus

First death attributed to coronavirus in Williamson County was a male in his 70s.

Back to top