Mercier Orchard -- The Apple of Blue Ridge's Eye

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 In the Mountains

appleNo trip to Blue Ridge is complete without a visit to Mercier Orchards. It is a full-working orchard, but it is so much more. In addition to fresh-picked fruits in season, Mercier's (pronounced Mer-seers) has several shops--Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company, Mountain Blooms, Buck's Fancy Meats-an extensive gift department, various fresh pressed ciders, a café that serves delicious sandwiches and salads, a candy shop and a hand-dipped ice cream stand.

And, let us never forget the bakery where the world's best fried pies are made. In addition to the perennial favorite, apple, other fried pies include peach, cherry, blueberry, sweet potato and chocolate, even sugar-free and baked "fried" pies. Other delights include apple fritters, apple cider doughnuts (out-of-this world delicious!), and apple bread. Mercier's also makes regular pies, and come Thanksgiving, the best strategy is to order your pies by phone days-or better yet, weeks-ahead, as the line to purchase pies on the last few days leading up to Thanksgiving are quite long. You'd almost think you were back in the city!!

The orchard had humble beginnings. Bill and Adele Mercier purchased a several acre apple orchard from local pharmacist, Dr. Floyd, in 1943. Bill had a degree in agriculture from the University of Georgia, and he used his extensive agricultural knowledge to increase the output and expand the variety of his fruit trees.  The Mercier's were pioneers in cultivating many types of apples that are popular today.  Below is a photo of Bill & Adele standing in the door of the original apple house.

apple house

 

Today, at over 100 acres, Mercier's is the largest privately-owned apple orchard in Georgia, and one of the largest in the southeast. Southern Living Magazine lauded Mercier's as their "favorite roadside apple market" in their October, 2002 edition and Today Show's Al Roker visited Mercier's to try out their world-famous fried pies. (He LOVED them, by the way!)

Three generations of Mercier's now participate in the operation of the orchard and retail establishment, and a fourth generation is growing up into the business. Adele can still be found helping out wherever needed-at the cash register, or the bakery, or in the back handing out free samples of delicious Mercier's fruit. Bill passed away in September of 2007. He and Adele had been married 65 years.

Stop into Mercier Orchard and get a special taste of Blue Ridge.

pie

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Rainer
130,186
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN

What a great treat to have this Apple Orchard so close to you! Nothing like hot apple cider with a little cinnamon on a cold day or a hot apple pie to top off a great dinner! BTW, I know I will lose some of my southern credibility, but I have never had a fried pie! What is the difference between a fried pie and a baked pie?!? I know we deep fry in the south, but is the fried pie, deep fried?!?

Jul 23, 2008 08:09 AM #1
Ambassador
517,507
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Oh man, my mouth is watering now.  Wonder how far you are from Raleigh - maybe I can make a weekend trip! 

Jul 24, 2008 07:18 AM #2
Rainmaker
116,746
Kim Southern- "Sold" with Southern Hospitality
Century 21 In the Mountains - Ellijay, GA
Greetings from the North Georgia Mountains!

Penny:  It would make the PERFECT weekend trip!! And, trust me, one taste of a Merciers fried pie and you'd know it!

Rich: Never had a fried pie???? We may have to strip you of your Southern passport! A fried pie is much smaller than a regular pie and it has crust all the way around...kind of like a closed apple turnover.  And, yes, its fried. And, yes, its spectacular.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Jul 24, 2008 09:09 AM #3
Rainer
130,186
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN

Thanks for the info! I can always use the excuse that I was born in Connecticut but raised in Memphis! Best of both worlds!

Jul 24, 2008 09:24 AM #4
Rainmaker
131,447
Vicki Burton
Southport Realty-Southport, North Carolina - Southport, NC
A local Buyer's Agent - Southport NC Real Estate

Ymmm. My mom and grandma made fried pies. I haven't had one in years. I LOVE the old photo.

 

Jul 24, 2008 10:12 AM #5
Rainmaker
116,746
Kim Southern- "Sold" with Southern Hospitality
Century 21 In the Mountains - Ellijay, GA
Greetings from the North Georgia Mountains!

Rich: True that!!

Vicki: They are sinfully good!!! I love the old photo, too. The Mercier's are a lovely family.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jul 24, 2008 10:22 AM #6
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Rainmaker
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Kim Southern- "Sold" with Southern Hospitality

Greetings from the North Georgia Mountains!
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