NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - If you’re driving along the 4600 block of Nolensville Pike, Maxwell Brothers Produce is hard to miss.
Everything surrounding the simple, white, one story building screams seasonal, organic, and wholesome. In fact, the colorful trappings surrounding the exterior of this south Nashville staple are simply a teaser for what you’ll find inside.
Regular customers like Susan Crawford can’t seem to stay away. After all, they’re greeted by mouth-watering sweet potatoes, succulent fruit, big, ripe tomatoes, and a neighborly vibe. Crawford says she comes here all of the time. News 4 watched as Crawford and a companion diligently shopped for produce.
“It's just so great to be able to get local produce from Thomas Maxwell. He always has a smile,” said Crawford.
She added, it was also the first time she met Thomas’ older brother Henry, who was helping out in the store.
“Yes. Yes. Meeting him was a treat,” said Crawford.
The Maxwell family has been in business since the early 1940's. Their father started selling produce using his car as a road side stand. The brothers say they’ve managed to stay in business and do so well, because they’ve diversified over the years.
Right now, they’re gearing up to bring in Christmas trees to sell at their location. Customers can also take home a variety of delicious looking baked goods that are prepared by the Mennonites. They even sell potting mix.
Thomas Maxwell is in charge of running the day to day operations at Maxwell Brothers Produce.
"I've had a lot of customers come in and tell us our produce is much better than the local grocery stores. We pride ourselves on freshness. We pick out our own produce. It's not sent to us. We go pick it up ourselves,” said Thomas.
Henry Maxwell walked to the back of the store and showed us several old photographs hanging above the store’s cooler that chronicle his family’s nearly 75 year old business. And he proudly held one photograph in his hand that showed Henry and his brother Ben sitting in a horse drawn wagon.
"This is how we started out when we were young. We couldn't drive. So we pedaled of goods in our horse and wagon. We were selling produce right there,” said Henry.
Today Henry is in charge of buying all of the produce that is sold at the store.
"When you start buying stuff, you have to look at it and make sure it's some good quality and everything. And a lot of times I just take a bite of apples, oranges, or whatever - just to make sure they taste good,” said Henry Maxwell.
All of the customers we talked to said that shopping here is a real treat. Bubba Hunter, a long-time customer, said the brothers seem more like friends than people simply selling fruit and vegetables.
“I love it. I come down here all of the time. They’ve got good service and produce,” said Hunter. With so much success, I asked the brothers if they get along like two peas in a pod. They both responded with a hearty laugh.
“Not quite. Maybe two divided peas in a pod,” said Thomas. He smiled broadly before finishing his thought. “As long as we stay in our own lanes and out of each other’s way, we’re fine."
From what we observed, whatever they’re doing seems to be working well. The Maxwell Brothers have a couple of big sellers - Bradley Heirloom tomatoes and Sugar Baby watermelons. They're open 7 days a week. And Saturday is their busiest day.