Retailer touts local pecans, gift options
For Navidad Farms Pecans owner Jeanne Roe, October marks the start of pecan-selling season and her busiest time of year.
Roe said customers wait until each fall for so-called "new crop" pecans.
"Rather than going to Costco or getting them in a pinch, [customers] will make a different kind of pie," she said.
Navidad Farms is a store offering a variety of gifts and other food products—jellies, candy, coffee beans, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar and oil, to name a few—but Roe said most customers clamor for the store's pecans by the pound and in gift bags, tins and baskets.
"Pecans are still our focus and always will be," she said.
Navidad Farms' original owners, Dr. Tom Vandivier and his son Tom, grew their own pecans in an orchard near the Navidad River. The business opened in 1989 and included a shelling plant with a small store at the current Navidad Farms location. Roe, who had previously worked as a waitress, joined the company in November 1998. She said she saw the potential to expand the retail side to include more products.
"We were fairly limited on what we had because it was so small, and I could just see a need for a place like this," she said.
Roe bought the store in January 1999 and shifted the focus to retail, transforming the former shelling plant to the store it is today. Her sister, Renee Roe-Berry, is the store's manager.
The company no longer grows its own pecans. For several years, Navidad Farms' pecans have come from three or four Texas growers in cities such as Bastrop, Smithville and San Saba, Roe said.
With a Christmas room and gift room, the store also stocks Texas-themed souvenirs such as mugs, T-shirts, keychains and ornaments.
Navidad Farms also ships products and offers complimentary coffee to shoppers during its busy season, which lasts from October to December, Roe said.
Roe said the best part of her job is getting to know her customers, many of whom love to shop locally and have become her close personal friends throughout the years.
"Our customers bring us baked goods," she said. "They genuinely want us to stay in business."
A few pecan options
Navidad Farms sells pecans in a variety of forms, from shelled pecan halves for $11.95 per pound and chopped pieces for baking at $10.95 per pound to flavored pecans by the pound in tins and gift baskets.
Owner Jeanne Roe said smaller tins cost about $14, and the store's largest gift basket costs about $100. She noted flavored pecans are also available in 4-ounce, 8-ounce and 16-ounce gift bags.
Sweet and savory flavors include:
- Amaretto chocolate
- Chocolate toffee
- Dark chocolate
- Honey toasted
- Sugar-free chocolate
- White chocolate
- *Praline-coated pecans feature a butter and brown sugar mixture and are different from pralines.
Source: Navidad Farms Pecans
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas)