If you find yourself needing a fresh tomato or some sweet spring cantaloupe, just follow your nose and the smell of freshly-boiled peanuts north to the Spot Road Fruit Stand, which just opened for its 22nd season at the intersection of Spot and Dr. Bramblett roads in north Forsyth.
For the last 22 years, Spot Road Fruit Stand owner Mike Heath has spent nearly every day of every spring and summer selling what he considers to be the best produce available in Georgia to the Forsyth County community.
Whether it be a bag of boiled peanuts, some fresh green tomatoes for frying, or something to go with supper, Mr. Mike, as he is referred to by his customers, has it covered.
“My specialty here is that I’m hands-on; I buy and sell everything,” Heath said. “It’s a hands-on business. I like being self-employed, and it’s a small enough business where I can run it with a helper each morning.”
But when Heath started out at the stand, he said that the area and his clientele was much different than it is now.
“A lot of the families that grew up here on Spot Road traded with me, and that’s how I got started, with the mothers and grandmothers that actually cooked their people’s suppers,” he said. “And what was really good for me is that they liked the produce, they liked me and continued, so I prospered.”
When Heath started out, he never imagined the business would last for more than 20 years.
“I did not think it would last this long, because again, it was unknown to me,” he said. “And the Forsyth County people took to me and really have supported me these many years.”
“That’s why I’m still continuing, because it’s worthwhile,” he said.
Today, the stand carries a variety of fruits and vegetables, from onions and zucchini, to pineapples and honeydew melons, with a good spread of handmade products like jams, honeys and hot sauces, not to forget his famous hot boiled peanuts.
To make sure that the stands is stocked with all these goodies, three to four times a week, Heath wakes up at 2 a.m. and travels down to the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park to load up on all the best produce he can’t get locally in Forsyth County.
“Early bird gets the worm,” he said. “What we have, nobody else has got.”
But whenever possible, Heath said he buys his goods locally from a list of growers in the Forsyth County area.
“It’s farm to table, so to speak. It comes right through here after it comes from the farm,” he said. “[Customers] can have 100 percent confidence in what they are buying here. Very rarely would you get something that’s not adequate. It’s very trustworthy, very delicious ... and a very fair value.”
While the majority of his clients come to the stand looking for one specific item, others browse what he has stocked or even just say hello and talk for an hour over a bag of peanuts.
Heath said that camaraderie and community, still makes him happy after 22 years of business, making him smile anytime cars beep or drivers wave hello as they pass by.
“Year after year, I look forward to that,” he said. “I stand out front or in the back here and give everyone a wave.”
The Spot Road Fruit Stand is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. It can be found at the intersection of Spot Road and Dr. Bramblett Road, 1885 Dr. Bramblett Road, Cumming.