COMMERCE — If there is a homemade pecan pie in Hunt County this holiday season, there is a good chance the pecans came from Campbell Pecans.
Kathy Campbell was happily greeting customers in the store on Washington Street in Commerce on Tuesday, continuing a family tradition.
“It has been a good year, a busier than usual year,” Campbell said.
Campbell Pecans on Washington Street opened for the holiday season on Nov. 1, celebrating its 90th anniversary of buying and selling pecans for the public. Area residents will bring in sacks of pecans they have collected, sometimes two or three pounds and occasionally a few hundred pounds, then the store weighs them and pays the customers in cash.
“It has been a bumper crop, a real good crop,” Campbell said.
The business dates back to 1929, when Bernard Forrest (Buck) Campbell and his wife, Sallie Henrietta Armour Campbell, opened the original Campbell’s Produce on Alamo Street, at the site of the old police station.
In 1944, the Campbells bought the building at 1302 Washington. The location had once been used as a mule barn.
The building is presumed to have been built in 1914 because of the year stamped into the concrete floor at the entrance. The building’s original tin ceiling is still in place. In the 1930s the building also held wrestling matches.
The pecans are loaded into a sorter, which separates them into three sizes — small, paper shell and large paper shell — and then loads them into burlap sacks. Some sacks are then sold, while others are then loaded into the cracker and blower, which produces the finished product.
The pecans are sold as fast as they are produced.
Campbell Pecans is a family business. Kathy became a part of the legacy when she married Glyn Campbell, grandson of the original owners. Glyn passed away in 2010 and now Kathy and her son Jayson manage the company.
“And we especially appreciate all of our customers,” Campbell said.
The public can buy freshly shelled pecans in pre-packed pound bags, although most customers buy larger amounts.
The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week.