How a roadside produce stand called “The Big Peach” could become so iconic in the heart of southwest Indiana’s melon country says a lot about marketing. While the popular family-owned market along U.S. 41 north of Vincennes began with a peach orchard on the property in 1954, its giant 20-foot-tall concrete peach alongside a yellow mini–Washington Monument that make for a vintage and kitschy attention grabber.
“The kids get really excited. They’ve just never seen a peach that big,” said Esmeralda Cavazos, who’s managed the shop for seven years. She said kids equate the peach with the popular children’s book and movie “James and the Giant Peach.” Copies of the books are sold at the market, too.
But what has kept locals and passersby coming to the Big Peach for generations is its extraordinary variety of fresh seasonal produce, peach slushies, cider, ice cream, and jars of local honey, jellies and jams, and salsa and sauces. The family-owned market also sells embroidery items, T-shirts, homemade pies, gift items, fudge, and more. Come autumn, specials include caramel apples, apple cider, apple butters, pumpkin butter and persimmon pulp.
Now’s the season for juicy watermelons, cantaloupe and other melons that make Knox County and the surrounding areas a melon mecca. Southwest Indiana’s sandy soils and climate are well-suited for producing cantaloupes and melons. Small roadside stands that rely on the honor system up to large enclosed markets, like the Big Peach, dot U.S. 41 from Terre Haute south to the southernmost tip of the state.
“Everyone knows the Big Peach,” said Mattie Hagemeier, 24, a WIN Energy REMC consumer from up the road in Carlisle, who stopped in to purchase some green beans and berries. Whenever family members from Chicago visit, they always have to visit the market. “They’re from the city so they like seeing a produce stand like this.”
For the Flynn family, driving down from Terre Haute to Vincennes’ Rainbow Beach Family Aquatic Center, The Big Peach was a great rest stop before hitting the beach: A potty break for the kids, and ice cream. Dad Larry Flynn said they stop there all the time to check out the snacks, jams and jellies. “We know they are localized here,” he said.
The Big Peach is open daily from May through October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Its address is 7738 N. Pierce Road, Bruceville, Indiana 47516, but it’ll be easier looking for the giant peach and Washington Monument on the west side of U.S. 41, just south of the Sullivan-Knox County line.
Find The Big Peach on Facebook at facebook.com/Big-Peach-936988086647074.