Everything but squirrels is on sale at Russell’s Pecans and Fine Candy in Gholson, where the Russell family and 1,500 pampered pecans have delivered the wares and treats to central Texas for generations.
Patriarch Dann Russell, 71, said he and estate agent Josh Carter welcome offers from almost anyone. But they won’t let the property go for peanuts. The complex includes a 122-acre orchard, family residences, retail store, processing facilities, and a business built on longevity and customer satisfaction.
A promotional brochure lists the price at $5.4 million.
“Long story short, all of my parts don’t work as well as they used to. When you get older, you start having issues,” Russell said, discussing the family’s decision to part ways with the farm. “My son is nearing 50 and he has health issues. My two grandsons aren’t much into the pecan business. I thought it was a good time to walk away. Not necessarily today or next week, but whenever we find the right person.”
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If it sells, fine. If not, Russell said he and his son, Matthew Russell, will continue to hook up. Matthew Russell runs the place. Dann Russell holds the title.
“Make no mistake about it, Russell’s Pecans and Fine Candy will remain open and continue in full swing as we work to find a new owner to continue the operation into the future,” Carter, of Coldwell Banker Commercial, said per e. -mail. . “This unique property includes 1,500 pecan trees producing a dozen different varieties of premium pecans.”
Carter said the offering includes orchards, two single-family residences, commercial buildings, farm equipment and specialty machinery.
Dann Russell said owning a pecan orchard isn’t for everyone. The work is seasonal, with the busiest periods being between October and February or March.
“Like any farming business, you put in what you put in,” Russell said, meaning a farmer works until the job is done, however long that might take. “There is harvesting, bombing, ransacking and trading with retail stores.
“You go with the flow, try to stay one step ahead.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic which has wreaked havoc on many businesses played no role in the family’s decision to sell if possible.
“When the economy is bad, our business improves, although I don’t wish hardship on anyone,” Russell said. “People will always find a little money to celebrate the holidays. A good year is a good year. We wouldn’t have been in business nearly 100 years if we hadn’t made a profit.”
Russell’s makes money in a variety of ways. She sells products in the family’s retail store and offers wholesale pecans to other retailers. It provides cracking and bombing services to the public, with its customer base stretching from Austin to Weatherford, “and almost as far as Abilene,” Russell said.
He said the proceeds are sometimes used in fundraising.
A buyer inclined to continue farming operations “could step right in and go from ‘A’ to ‘Z’ without too much headache. The sale includes everything from lock stock and barrel, including a ton of specialized equipment for cracking, shelling and processing,” Russel said. “The asking price, I believe, reflects what it cost us to get there, to get to where the business is today.”
But Russell knows potential buyers may have other ideas.
“A lot of things could be done,” he said. “Look what’s going on in McLennan County right now. Real estate and land activity is super, super good. People are coming from all over. Business is showing up and opening doors.”
Someone may prefer building houses to growing pecans, Russell said.
Buildings featured in the Coldwell Banker brochure include an equipment barn, a sorting and drying plant, a small storage building and storage house, a retail store with processing facilities and warehouse, and two residences.
The list of personal possessions and professional equipment is long, including a walk-in freezer with a new $4,500 compressor, a vibrating inspection table, pecan crackers, electric pruners, a elevator and conveyor system, a diesel fuel tank, an agitator, a shelling tool, hydraulic dump trailer, chainsaws, air blowers, harvesters and mowers, and much more.
“Five generations have made this family business what is recognized as Central Texas’ premier pecan producer,” reads a property overview on the brochure.
It says each pecan tree is watered by an underground irrigation system more than 18 miles long.
“These orchards have been meticulously maintained and maintained above industry standards, producing 12 different varieties of Texas pecans.”