Posted by Putt weatherbee |
We’re fifth generation growers and third generation owners here at Schermer Pecans. We get lots of questions about how the Schermer and Wetherbee families became synonymous with Georgia pecans. Here’s a look at our history and as you can see – it’s one nutty family affair.
- Putt Wetherbee
‘A Native Nut’ - The pecan is undoubtedly the most important nut tree native to North America. For North American Indian tribes in the South-Central region of the United States, especially in the Mississippi Valley, the seedling pecan served as a dietary staple long before the arrival of Europeans.
‘Pecans for Pipe Tobacco - Later the Indians traded pecans to the settlers for furs, trinkets and tobacco. Before the early sixteenth century, no European had ever seen a pecan.
‘Antoine’s Prized Pecans’ - 1876 - the first improved pecan was graphed by an African-American slave gardener called Antoine from Louisiana.
‘Alton & Lula Go Nuts’ – 1946 – In the wake of WWII, Alton and Lula Schermer founded the Schermer Pecan Company out of their home. Some people said they were nuts - they took it as a compliment. Alton hand-selected the best pecans and Lula handled the packaging and hospitality.
‘Nuts about Non-Profits’ – Post WWII, Alton Schermer took note that non-profits needed a little help raising cash, so Schermer Pecan Company partnered with organizations on fundraising projects, in turn providing them the money to ‘shell’ out for their community projects.
‘Our Trees Take Root’ – Like the pecan trees in our orchards, the Schermer Pecan Company slowly and steadily grew into one of the nation’s most recognizable names in pecans. Today, Schermer is one of only a few family-run pecan companies that grow, shell and distribute.
‘Harvest Season’ – As Alton and Lula Schermer entered their golden years, they began contemplating a plan for their perennials - searching for a successor to care for their burgeoning business.
‘New Crop’ – 1977—They called him the pioneer of the pecan industry. Frank Wetherbee purchases the Schermer Pecan Company in 1977, making him the owner of one of the largest pecan company in Georgia. (whose great great uncle, Francis Flagg Putney was part of the largest commercial planting around the turn of the century)
‘Georgia on My Mind’ - Georgia now produces 45% of the Nation's pecans averaging 110 million pounds per year. This production is influenced by factors such as weather, insects and disease which cause fluctuations from as low as 50 million pounds to as high as 150 million pounds per year.
‘Sweet Talk’ – 2010 – Today, the rigorous standards and warm hospitality set forth by Alton and Lula Schermer is carried on by Putt Wetherbee and his family. More than 60 years later, the Schermer Pecan Company remains true to its roots – taking pride from picking to packaging and all of the steps in between.