Artisan Spotlight: Goodson Pecans
I drive past the blue city limit sign that indicates I have reached the hometown of Luke Bryan, Buster Posey, Phillip Phillips, and Carly Mathis. This small town in Southwest Georgia is not only home to this big talent but also houses some of the finest people you will ever have the opportunity to meet. Most especially, the Goodson family, who are the proud owners of Goodson Pecans, call this small town home.
Goodson Pecans is a small business located in Leesburg, Georgia that creates and sells shelled pecans, gourmet pecans such as the cinnamon sugar or sriracha flavors, and pecan butters. The idea for this business stemmed from Goodson Farms where all of the pecans are harvested for Goodson Pecan products.
David Goodson, the driving force behind making the dream of Goodson Pecans a reality, said that he pushed for his dad, a farmer since 1972, to bring the pecans grown by Goodson Farms to the internet.
“I had always been telling my dad about two years before we started we need to start getting our pecans online. The internet was a huge avenue already for things. We talked about that for two years and nothing. No traction.”
Goodson then took the business idea into his own hands and started to build Goodson Pecans.
“After that second year, I was like I just have to get out there and try it. We built a website and we essentially started Goodson Pecans at that point. We got a business license, and we were selling shelled pecan halves and pieces. The next year we added some sugar coated pecans and every year after that we’ve just been expanding.”
Goodson started running Goodson Pecans from his home, but as the list of pecan products kept growing, a new facility was needed.
As he sits on a metal stool in the middle of their packaging area, he said:
“We moved from our home into here when we started making pecan butter. We couldn’t do that in our home. We were required by the department of agriculture to be in a commercial facility. It was a big step for us to move from our home into a commercial facility.”
The facility is not incredibly large but allows the Goodson family to create most of their gourmet flavors and all of their nut butters in house. The store smells like warm pecans, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate. As you look around, you can tell that this facility is used to create, pack, and send Georgia grown pecans to people all across the country not just in this corner of Georgia.
One flavor of Goodson Pecans, Mimi’s Sugar Pecans, was created from an old family recipe and some flavors, such as the chocolate covered variety, are made locally. However, most of the delectable artisan products that Goodson Pecans sells are surprisingly created by trial and error.
“I love creating and it drives my wife crazy because I’ll say we need to try a savory flavor and I’ll get in the back and play with it. We’d play with recipes and say it needs a little more of this or a little more of this and we’d go back to the kitchen and work it out. That’s how Sriracha came about.”
The Goodson Pecans Gourmet Sriracha flavor has proven to be a successful savory and spicy flavor for the business, winning the 2017 Flavor of Georgia for the snack category.
“Sriracha won Flavor of Georgia back in March, and it’s been flying off the shelves this year. We’ve been super encouraged with it. We never thought that it would have been as popular as it was.”
Goodson Pecans prides itself on being a family business that creates products that are georgia grown.
“Georgia grown is important because of my product and our pecans are Georgia Grown. Pecans taste different here. They taste better. People say that and I’m probably biased but there’s also a little truth behind that.”
Goodson also knows the importance of georgia crafted products to his business as well:
“It’s valuable to be Georgia Crafted because that’s also who we are. We take what we grow and we craft it into something else. We add value to our product and that’s where I think there is great value in being Georgia Crafted.”
In this small town of Leesburg, Georgia, the taste of a Goodson Pecan reminds you that you’re in the part of the South that keeps it Georgia Grown, Georgia Made, and Georgia Crafted.
To try Goodson Pecans, you can check out the 2017 Flavor of Georgia gift box featuring Goodson Pecans Sriracha flavor or purchase the Cinnamon Sugar or Sriracha flavors by the bag in the Build a Gift Box section of our website.