By Wendy Binns
Publisher

It’s officially pecan season. Tommy and Phil Greene light up talking about the rich, buttery crop coming from parts of Georgia and Florida to their Decatur store, Greene’s Fine Foods. “These are fresh out of the tree,” says Tommy.

The brothers have operated their family business for four years with roots in the business stemming back to their childhood in Augusta. They learned the nuts and bolts (so to speak) while growing up around their parents’ candy and nut business. That business, now Pecans Unlimited, is still thriving. “Dad will sell about 14,000 pounds of chocolate covered pecans this season,” explains Phil.

They remember their own holiday dinner table with pecans, too – pecan pies, sweet potato pies with pecans on top and a memorable Jello salad with pecans. And, this time of year makes it peak season for roasting and cooking with them. The purists can find the plain variety at the store, but there’s really something for everyone’s taste at Greene’s. Chocolate and praline pecans are some of their best sellers. And, the Pecan Sampler tin and the Pecan Lover’s tin are popular options if you can’t commit to just one.

The store isn’t all about pecans, though. There’s tons of candy. Phil’s favorite is the caramel pecan logs, which are made in the store. He explains that they’re great sliced and served on a platter for an easy dessert. Tommy elaborates that all of the candies made right there in the store, such as the fudge pops, salted caramels and chocolate covered Oreos, are big hits with customers.

There are also lemon drops, lollipops, jellybeans, gumballs and pretty much everything that would make Willy Wonka sing and dance. “All of our gummy products are popular – some say they’re the best they’ve ever eaten,” says Tommy.

And, the store isn’t all about candy either. There are toys. Boomerangs, yo-yos, slinkies and other nostalgic retro toys line the shelves. They carry a big variety of classics and unusual finds in lots of price ranges.

If nuts, candy and toys don’t grab your interest, there’s more: growlers and wine. “It’s been fun learning about all of the craft beers,” says Phil. They have a room dedicated to them.

The basement of the store serves as headquarters for packaging and shipping the mail orders: tins, baskets and boxes. They package everything to-order with a custom card and ship to individual addresses. Tommy points to a stack of 17 sampler tins and explains that that customer is the first to order each year – he wants his clients to receive his gift before any others.

With Terrific Thursdays (see visitdecaturgeorgia.com) in full swing, you can stop by Greene’s on Thursdays for a 10 percent discount, samplings and more. Plus, they will be sampling products every weekend throughout the holidays. Stop by to see them at 141 East Trinity Place in Decatur. For more information, visit greenesfinefoods.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.