The Great American Cobbler Company (GACC) wants to bring a little taste of the farm to home across Georgia and beyond.
Located in Homerville, Georgia, the company’s ownership includes Russ and Carra Goodman; Johnny and Joy Crumbley; Donna Kane; Ben and Tina Strickland; and Chris and Laura Huff.
Providing the fresh berries, the Goodman and Crumbley families are blueberry farmers in Clinch County, and the Stricklands grow blackberries in nearby Lanier County.
On the production and distribution side, Chris and Laura Huff bring food manufacturing experience. “I have 22 years of food development, manufacturing, and sales, including owning facilities,” says Chris Huff. “Laura retired from Kroger after 23 plus years.”
Blending the farming and production experience has been an essential part of the company’s early success.
While getting their cars serviced, the idea of a cobbler company started with a casual conversation between Russ Goodman and Chris Huff.
“When Russ first approached us with the idea, we met with Chris, and he brought a sample cobbler and pot pie for us to try,” says Tina Strickland. “After that, we had a lot of decisions to make.”
It has been a group effort, and finding a manufacturing facility became one of the biggest challenges. “We searched across South Georgia for a building,” she says. “Once we decided on the building in Homerville, which was owned by Dole, it had to be upgraded and fitted to meet our needs.”
Launching a business, especially in food manufacturing, during a pandemic presented some challenges. “It was difficult getting equipment and supplies,” Chris says. “Also, the whole sales process has changed. How we go to market transformed from in-person relationship to virtual meetings.”
GACC products are handcrafted using the highest quality products, including 100 percent American-grown fruit. “Our cobblers have 45 percent whole fruit vs. industry average 23 percent,” he says. “They are handcrafted with real butter and cane sugar.”
The GACC current product line features ready-to-bake blueberry, blackberry, peach, and apple cobblers; and traditional chicken, creole chicken, and cheeseburger pot pies.
“Our mission is to bring an award-winning dessert from our family’s farm to your family’s table,” says Tina, who helps manage GACC finances. “People want to know where their food comes from and want to buy local when they can. They also know we’re a family business.”
Currently available in locally-owned retail stores, GACC representatives are working with several national grocery store chains to place products.