GASTONIA, NC — Twelve different kinds of cobblers. Try to choose between pralines with cinnamon and peach, with apple caramel and of course peach, blackberry or strawberry.
Twelve different types of banana pudding. Some may choose chocolate chip, others coconut cream, bourbon pecan or what they call OG – plain banana pudding.
Or choose, as many do, a dessert combination of any four puddings or banana pudding.
The owner of The Peach Cobbler Factory believes in desserts and says she opened her new venture because she feels Gaston County residents need a place for a variety of desserts.
“This is the sweetest place,” owner Sparkle Agnew says of her business on the busy corner of Franklin Boulevard and Cox Road, behind Walgreens. “We offer something sweet from cold to warm. We also sell cookies and five types of cinnamon buns.
“People want candy that they can’t get at a restaurant,” she said.
The idea of bringing in two cobblers appealed to husband and wife Ronnie and Rise Allen of Cherryville as they headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“It’s definitely different,” said Ronnie Allen, who heard about the business from the couple’s daughter, who knows how much her parents love cobblers.
“It’s almost as American as mom’s apple pie,” Ronnie Allen said of his dessert choice.
Door Dash driver Carrie Robbins says she often picks up food at the business for her customers, noting that many of them are repeat customers. When she told Agnew she had never tried the food herself, Agnew gave her a strawberry banana pudding to try.
“It’s good,” Robbins said. “Very good.”
Agnew has spent the past 17 years working in Mecklenburg County in a variety of jobs, from social services to the sheriff’s office to child support. She said she left in July and opened The Peach Cobbler Factory after Thanksgiving, even though her only experience in the food industry was as a server at Applebee’s while she was a student at Winston-Salem State University.
“I came forward on the basis of faith. My father died in October 2021 and he always told me to follow my dreams,” Agnew said. “His dream for me was to do what I love to do, which is to serve people.”
Agnew greeted each customer as he entered her store. He wants to create a family atmosphere where people leave happier than they were when they first entered.
“I love helping people, whether it’s putting a smile on their face or giving them the best dessert ever in this business,” she said. “I’m happy when my customers leave with a smile on their face.”
When asked what a newcomer to her business might order, Agnew began recommending products – sweet potato pudding, red velvet banana pudding, blackberry peach pudding, cherry banana pudding.
“They’re all good,” she finally said. “That’s why many people fly with dessert. They want to try a little bit of everything, but they can’t decide.”
All cobblers come with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The shop also sells “peach tea”, iced coffee and milk.