Fresh produce available at Julie's Sweet Shoppe

Story and photos
by Ray Nielsen

Phyllis Strack and her daughter, Mary Rose Rappold, are selling fruits and vegetables this summer straight from their four-acre garden.

The two set up in front of Julie’s Sweet Shoppe in the Conway Towne Center on Thursday mornings. Store owner Julie Goodnight encouraged this as a way of promoting healthy food choices. Phyllis and her family also provide fresh produce to the Conway Farmer’s Market at Antioch Baptist Church.

Bell and banana peppers, new potatoes, green beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn and blackberries are among their offerings. At other times they might add okra, purple hull peas or even pumpkins.

Some of the produce from the Strack Farm that is available for purchase at Julie’s Sweet Shoppe.

“I started selling produce 26 years ago,” Phyllis said. “We did it in the beginning to help my father-in-law, Lawrence Strack, who’d been selling for several years before that. I was a stay-at-home mom, and it was a good way to bring in extra income for our children’s tuition at St. Joseph School and for Christmas money.”

Later on, it helped with their children’s college education.

Now, the Stracks have grandchildren. Hunter Watkins will be a seventh-grader at St. Joseph School this year and Dylan and Eli Strack will both enter the three-year-old pre-school program at St. Joseph.

Customers check out the items available for purchase.

Mary Rose has been helping her mother since she was a small child. “I had to get up at 5 in the morning during the summer,” Mary Rose said. “I was always glad when school started because I could sleep in!”