Have you ever had a trash can peach, a specimen so juicy you have to eat it hunched over a garbage pail? If not, you’ve probably never met my friend Stephen Rose. He is the owner of The Peach Truck, a small company that sells impeccable fruit from Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, Georgia—his quiet hometown. The Peach Truck is named after the 1964 Jeep that Stephen and his wife and business partner, Jessica, use to deliver that fruit, just hours off the tree, to a cult following of chefs and farmers’ market devotees in Nashville.
Stephen and I can’t remember when we first met; it’s all a hazy peach dream. He swears he’s only been selling in Nashville since 2012, but that simply can’t be true, because I’m pretty certain he and his fruit have been major players in so many of the good decisions I’ve made as a pastry chef. Could we have met at City House in 2008, where I first learned what a trash can peach was as my chef, Tandy Wilson, and I ate one, laughing and covered in juice?
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Perhaps he and I met some other time over the next several years as we circled each other at Nashville pop-up dinners and block parties. The city was bursting with new ideas then, with great music and fancy jeans. Weren’t peaches always at the center? Come 2013, I was seeing Stephen every week at Husk restaurant, both of us with real jobs: I in a crisp apron, he with his clipboard of orders and crates of peaches. He felt like a childhood friend. Today we remember each other’s faces from those days, our conversations and the important choices we made. But still, we don’t know when, exactly, our paths first crossed.