Founders Jessica and Stephen Rose share their successes, shortcomings, and advice with fellow entrepreneurs
On August 2, The Peach Truck founders Stephen and Jessica Rose visited Pathway WBC as the guest speakers at Power Surge, our signature networking event. The husband-wife team shared their story along with powerful advice with a group of small business owners.
The two entrepreneurs are the owners of The Peach Truck, a business that began out of an old pickup truck and has since been blossomed into a national success.
The Peach Truck story
Stephen was raised in Fort Valley, Georgia near a peach farm. Eating peaches straight from the trees was a huge part of his childhood, and an experience that would help define his adult life.
Years later, he was shocked at the low quality of peaches in the grocery store in Middle Tennessee. That’s when he and his wife got the idea to bring peaches from his hometown to Nashville and create a market for better, high quality, fresh peaches.
When they first started The Peach Truck, Jessica had a successful housekeeping business, and Stephen worked a regular 9-5 corporate job. After a successful first year selling peaches at farmers markets and to local chefs, they both quit their jobs and decided to operate the Peach Truck full-time.
And as of now, the business owners are seven years in, have grown tremendously with more than 50 “peach slingers” working for them. Not content to share the perfect peach with just Nashville, the couple also launched a The Peach Truck Tour with stops throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Customers often line up for hours just to get a taste of the hype.
Advice for other entrepreneurs from Stephen and Jessica
Stephen and Jessica started selling peaches shortly after their honeymoon, and in the seven years since have had three children. Balancing work life with home life may be difficult for some spouses who go into business together, but for Jessica and Stephen, it’s all about balance and keeping their priorities in order.
On work-life balance
“Before we started this business, we got really diligent on our personal finances,” says Jessica. “So when the opportunity came to start our own business, we were ready to jump.”
“We live a really unbalanced life because we have such a seasonal business. In the summer, there’s not a lot of work-life balance,” says Stephen. “It’s a crazy sprint all summer, but we’re home for bedtime every night. There’s always time for family. Always.”
On customer service
“It’s important for us to always remember that we’re not the hero of our story,” says Jessica. “Our customers are the heroes – the young mom bringing fresh peaches home to her family, the husband standing in line for his wife for an hour just because she saw us on Instagram, or anyone else who buys our peaches for an important event or moment. That’s who we focus on. They’re the hero of our story.”
On overcoming small business struggles
For the other small business owners and entrepreneurs in the room, Stephen and Jessica explained that there will be struggles, but being patient leads you to success.
“During peach season I’m always holding my breath a little because I just want everything to go well and sometimes it doesn’t,” Jessica says. “But that’s okay because we know that we’re going to get through it. Sometimes failing forward is the best way to learn.”
“It feels like a miracle every time a peach comes off of a tree,” says Stephen. “But for any entrepreneur, something will always go wrong. Give yourself a big enough margin to get yourself through the tough times.”
“If I could go back in time and give ourselves advice, I’d say ‘go with your gut and always just focus on doing the next right thing,’” says Jessica. “You don’t have to have the whole solution. Just take the next right step and you’ll get where you need to be.”
At Pathway WBC, we’re incredibly proud of Stephen and Jessica’s success, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for our friends at “The Peach Truck.”
See photos from Power Surge with Jessica and Stephen Rose on our Facebook page. Learn more about their business, including their new holiday shop this fall, at thepeachtruck.com.