If you have driven through Eustace during the summer, you may have seen Chris and Christi Thorne's Fresh East Texas Produce sign. Around two miles out of town on the left located at the corner of Cornelius and US Hwy 175 there are flags waving and fresh veggies waiting.
The couple has lived in Eustace for around six years and have eight children between the two of them.
“We have lived in Eustace for about six years, but on Cedar Creek my whole life,” Thorne said. “I grew up on a farm in the country.”
The man is no stranger to vegetables, working most of his life in stores such as Minyard's, Brookshire's as a produce manager and Walmart as a co-manager for 12 years.
After a serious illness required him to quit working, the produce stand was a way Thorne could continue in the industry while serving the community. Fresh purple hull peas, garden tomatoes, squash, cantaloupe, berries, okra and his signature item, fresh sweet juicy watermelons.
“When picking time comes everything will be locally grown,” he said.
While waiting for things to ripen up locally, Thorne purchases the freshest produce he can find in the Dallas area.
“I enjoy finding a good quality product that you are not going to find in the grocery store,” Thorne said. “Especially in the current situation this outdoor location gives people a safe place to go shopping.”
Reasonable prices and good company keep customers returning year after year.
“I like visiting with the customers, it is something I enjoy doing during the summer and is a service that is needed,” he said. “I try to be fair and go out of my way to provide the best produce possible.”
You can stop and check it out for yourself on most days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between the end of April and early August, if weather permits.
Thorne has a Facebook page called Double T Produce where he posts regular photos and updates. Check it out or stop by in person and enjoy some good company and fresh produce.
“I really try to have the best quality product, but I don't do this to get rich. I do this to help folks,” he said.