The Orchards Gourmet Nuts, Candies & Gifts
Here at The Orchards Gourmet Nuts, Candies, and Gifts, LLC, our products are unique because we don’t just make our candies and confections from scratch; we also grow and shell our own pecans. Our original business, Atwell Pecan Company founded in 1935, is still located within 100 yards of its original location. Susan and Jerry Dowdy have owned and operated Atwell Pecan Company, Inc. for over 35 years, and before that, Susan’s daddy was in the pecan business for all of her life. This family operation has expanded over the years to include not only a pecan shelling facility but also 500 acres of pecan orchards in two nearby counties. In 1989, the shelling plant was expanded to include Thames Pecan Company which wholesales pecans and other nuts under the Azalea Brand label. These two companies combined shell and process approximately 4 million pounds of pecans annually in addition to the marketing of almonds, walnuts, cashews, and mixed nuts.
About 5 years ago, we expanded our business to include candy making as well as shelling and growing the pecans. So, now we take the nuts all the way from the tree to delicious candies and confections. Over the last five years, we acquired two mail order catalogs, Fran’s Gifts To Go and Harrell Farms. Harrell Farms gave us many of the recipes for the candies and confections that we sell at The Orchards, and Fran’s Gifts To Go focused on gift baskets that now contain loads of our candies, confections, and nuts as well as food items from other sources.
In September of 2007, we finished construction of our candy factory, which also houses our new retail facility. So if you are ever in the area near Wrens, Georgia, stop by and see where we make the delicious candies and confections that you see here.
Our companies are all steeped in family tradition, with both of Jerry and Susan’s children working for the companies. Their son, Dalton, is an attorney and acts as in house counsel for all of the companies. In addition, their daughter, Sue-anna, is the creative director for the catalogs and the retail showroom. However, the family tradition doesn’t stop there. When the business was expanded to include making confections, family members of several of Atwell’s long-time employees came to work in the candy kitchen. That’s why it is so important to us to help you build lasting traditions for your family! We want your family to await in anticipation each year for the arrival of The Orchards. . .catalog—just as Dalton and Sue-anna awaited the arrival of their favorite gourmet holiday catalog when they were younger.
See Our Showroom
In September of 2007, we finished construction of our state of the art candy kitchen—where we make many of the delectable confections contained within these pages—and retail showroom, The Orchards Gourmet Nuts, Candies, and Gifts, LLC., located on U. S. 1, South in Wrens, Georgia.