How Superior Pecans became a Eufaula destination
Superior Pecans and Gifts has changed a lot since Jan and Brad Shoffit bought the business in 2011, moved to a new location and added new products. But one thing that hasn’t changed are the ‘piles of pecans,’ which can only be found at this institution in downtown Eufaula. These nifty arrangements make you feel like someone’s grandmother has put all of them together.
It’s because someone’s grandmother puts everyone together.
Inside the round, clear containers they’re wrapped in, the pecan halves are neatly stacked on top of each other, around and around, so they almost look like a cake from the outside. Hand held batteries are available in two or three pound sizes.
The tradition of stacking began in the 1960s, says Jan, who has pictures of “nutty ladies” over the years, “sitting around a table in the back of the building, which was neither heated nor chilled, in their coats, âshe said. . Customers come all the time and tell how their grandmothers used to work there.
The process takes 45 minutes to an hour. âWe always do,â Jan says. âYou won’t find this anywhere else. “
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The Shoffits and their three children moved to Eufaula in 2002, when Brad, who worked in shipbuilding, was helping repair a dam on Lake Eufaula. âWe loved this place,â says Jan.
After moving in 2004, they missed the small town atmosphere so much that they returned the following year and have lived there ever since.
Superior Pecans had started in 1934 on Orange Avenue in a building next to the railroad tracks. Pecan covered wagons would be loaded and shipped all over the United States, Jan said. When the Shoffits found out that the old pecan factory was for sale, Brad wanted to take a look. âHe’s an entrepreneur,â Jan says. âWe fell in love with it. “
They bought the business in 2011. The building still had all the original equipment – now run down – but the area around it had become mostly residential and it was difficult for customers to find it. âThey must have pulled me away from this building,â Jan said. “It was so picturesque.”
Yet their decision to move in 2015 to their current 10,000 square foot building on Broad Street was “a thing of God,” she says. âWe have the best of both worlds. We’re in the historic district, and you can see us from Highway 431, which goes from Atlanta to the beach. It’s like a destination now.
Superior Pecans is located next to the historic Martin Theater, in a building dating back to 1868. Inside, the decor is rustic, with a âfamily feel,â Jan says – and original floors that creak when you walk in. walk on it. âWe tried to keep it vintage looking,â she says.
When they moved to the new, more visible location, they opened their in-house coffee shop, Largemouth Coffee, which is sold exclusively at Superior Pecans as well as online. Once the people on the outside stop and have a cup, Jan says, they’re “addicted.” They can then subscribe to a subscription coffee service.
Recently Jan and Brad have made it a habit to bring coffee to the local hospital every week to thank the medical staff. Coffee deliveries are now sponsored by local businesses. Their coffee catering service is also available for fishing tournaments, business meetings, weddings and other events.
They started another business, Eufaula Ice Cream and Shakes, inside the Superior Pecans building, where they serve hand-dipped ice cream and create gourmet gourmet milkshakes with flavors like pecan pie, chocolate pretzel. peanut butter and birthday cake.
After getting his liquor license recently, Superior started offering wine slushies. They can also sell wine in their personalized baskets.
One of their year-round bestsellers is a Pecan Sampler that features nine snack-sized pecan flavors. Pecans and other goodies can come in wrapped wooden boxes made in Clanton, Alabama, which can be laser printed with logos or monograms.
The Shoffits’ daughter, Emily Hinton, who was just a child when her family moved to Eufaula, now works for the family business as a store manager.
âIt’s crazy to think where we started,â says Jan, adding that many of their clients are asking if they could possibly expand to the Gulf Coast.
She doesn’t rule out that possibility, but for now the Shoffit are focusing their attention on their beloved home of Eufaula. âThe people here are very tight-knit,â says Jan. âEveryone knows everyone. We love the people and the region. And it is so beautiful here.
Pecans have become more than just a livelihood. The Shoffits live on a 15 acre pecan orchard that has 120 trees and four different pecan varieties. âWe’re trying to get as many as possible from there,â Jan says. âI learned so much. It really was something different.
Superior Pecans and Gifts is located at 117 E. Broad St. in Eufaula, Alabama. The phone number is (334) 687-2031. Hours are 7 am to 5 pm; close on Sunday.