AIKEN — Even though it was cloudy and there was a bit of a chill in the air, business was still peachy keen for Dan and Tim Bledsoe on Wednesday.
The father and son opened up Dan's Peaches, their annual peach stand located on Whiskey Road for its fourth year. Dan, 16, has been involved in the business since 2008 and said his favorite part of the job is making his customers happy.
'I love to see people smile,' Dan said, his father adding that nothing makes a person smile like a peach.
Dan's little brother, 12-year-old Caleb better known as Bud, will run his own stand with the help of his father on the other side of Whiskey Road in June. It will be called Bud's Peaches, and he hopes to raise enough money by the time he's 16 to get a car. 'I'm proud of both of them for being willing to work,' Tim said.
When Dan first started working at the peach stand, he was unsure if he was going to stick with it.
By the end of the day, he decided he actually liked working at the stand and said he has customers returning each year.
'It's nice to see some familiar faces,' Tim said. 'We get a lot of referrals or repeat business. We appreciate all the repeat customers and hope to see some new ones, too.'
Tim said they also appreciate the support they have received from Tyler's Tire and Auto Services and The Carpet Shop, between which the stand is located.
The peaches are grown in Johnston and picked the day before or sometimes even on the day they hit the stand for sale, Tim said. He added that they are about a week and a half ahead of schedule this year, but the peculiar weather pattern that included a quick spring had the peaches budding early. They also experienced a late frost in March which had the Bledsoes concerned, but luckily, the peaches were not damaged.
The farm where the fuzzy fruit grows has 12 acres of 20 different varieties of peaches.
The Bledsoes opened their stand featuring empress peaches.
The stand may also feature corn, string beans, squash, watermelons and cantaloupes throughout the season, but they will always have peaches.