A Tasty Tradition: Pecan company continues to thrive!

"Welcome to the nut house!"

5-12-2008 Montgomery Advertiser

Sandy Wood Mayhan, owner of Wood Pecan Co. in Montgomery, shows some of the pecan products sold in the Ashley Road store.

The sign in front of Wood Pecan Co., owned and operated by Sandy Wood Mayhan, says it all.

Mayhan’s grandparents began Wood Pecan Co. in 1939. She had a history helping her grandfather with the pecan stand growing up. She grew increasingly interested in the inner workings of the business while earning her degree from Auburn Montgomery in business management.

In 2000, Mayhan and her father, Clarence Wood, took over Wood Pecan Co. after the death of her grandfather.

"My grandparents were definitely my inspiration. I saw how hard they worked and the pride that they put into the business, and I want to give it the same," Mayhan said.

In 2001, a 4,000-square-foot building was built down the road from the original location of Wood Pecan Co. on the 12-acre, family-owned pecan orchard. The storefront boasts an ample selection of locally grown pecans -- in the shell, out of the shell, cracked or candied. They also carry locally made jellies, jams and honey.

Recently Mayhan and her husband, Jason, expanded the business with a gift section, including fashionable purses, jewelry and Jason’s business, Mayhan’s Racin’ Collectibles, with NASCAR memorabilia.

The rural setting gives you the feeling that you haven’t wandered far from the farm and from those simple times when Wood Pecan Co. was first established, even though it’s only three miles from the interstate.

Though the storefront is Mayhan’s pride, pecans are her passion. The majority of the business done at Wood Pecan Co. is through mail order or Internet sales. Several mail order programs, including corporate gift pack programs and the Christmas mail order program, keep Mayhan busiest through the holidays. During these times you’ll find Mayhan and her husband working fervently until late in the evening, creating gift baskets and tins to be mailed out for gifts and company parties.

"We work a lot on word of mouth, and just the history and client base that my grandparents built for the business. A lot of advertising isn’t really needed," Mayhan said. "So much of business is going to the Internet anyway, so we are working on expanding our Internet market."

Though Wood Pecan Co. is on an orchard, it doesn’t produce most of the pecans sold at the business. "We buy pecans from the public. People bring them in from their own orchard or trees. We also will crack pecans for the public," Mayhan said.

"We are extremely customer-oriented. We’ve been known to wait on people if they call and are headed our way, even if it’s time to close."

Clarence Wood agreed. "We’re all about our customers."

Mayhan has every intention of watching the business expand over the next few years. She’s excited about how far it has come from a small roadside stand in 1939 to where it is today.