Drive north on US 129 and you’ll catch a glimpse of the North Georgia mountains. But take a right onto Kytle Street when you hit Cleveland and you’ll find Dyer Farms Store, a little produce shop that just opened and has fresh produce for sale every day of the week.
“As a kid, I hated working in the garden,” owner Mike Dyer said on Tuesday, July 23. “It was just something I didn’t like. But as I got older and out of school, it was like my release to go out, plant a garden and pick something.”
Dyer Farms Store, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:30 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, grows fresh produce at its 50-acre family farm in Gainesville. Everything else they’re not able to grow comes from other local growers like Osage Farms and Jaemor Farms.
There’s not much closer for those in Cleveland and White County. It’s almost 10 miles to the next produce shop. So after a life of banking by day, which led Dyer to White County, and farming by night in Gainesville, Dyer decided it was time to open a store to sell every day of the week.
“In the past couple of years, you could see him talking about it more,” said Julie Dyer, Mike Dyer’s daughter. “Every time he would talk about it, you could see him light up. So we were definitely really supportive and encouraged him to do it.”
Right now, it’s a small operation. He’s selling corn, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, peaches and a few other vegetables and fruits. There’s also jarred pickles, jams and jellies and on the weekends fresh boiled peanuts.
“What we’re trying to do is get as much local stuff as possible,” Mike Dyer said.
If everything goes according to plan, he hopes to expand with more produce as the business grows.
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Mike Dyer said.
His wife, Lynn, has all the confidence in him. After she watched her husband “fall in love with the community” in White County, she knew it was only a matter of time before he opened a store.
“I knew one day it would happen, because this is something he has wanted to do for many years,” she said. “I just knew the time had to be right.”
With the family’s support and the support they’ve seen from the community, Mike Dyer knows the time is right. Although it’s been just a few short weeks since Dyer Farms Store has been open, he already has high hopes for the shop to be more than just for produce.
It’s for the community he fell in love with and the people he now serves.
“On both sides of my family, my aunt and uncle had a grocery store,” Mike Dyer said. “That’s where everybody hang out. All the local people would go and if you wanted to know something, that’s where you’d go. And everybody knew everybody and it was just kind of a place people would go sit and talk.
“And that's kind of what this is.”