Gastonia, North Carolina — Twelve different types of cobblers. Try choosing between cinnamon peach pralines and caramelized apples, and of course peaches, blackberries or strawberries.
Twelve different kinds of banana pudding. Some may opt for chocolate chip chocolate, others may opt for coconut cream, bourbon pecans, or what they call the OG – plain banana pudding.
Or, like many, choose to mix or match any four cobblers or banana pudding for dessert.
The owner of The Peach Cobbler Factory believes in sweets and says she started her new business because she thought Gaston County residents needed a place to buy a variety of desserts.
“It’s the sweetest place,” owner Sparkle Agnew says of her business on the bustling corner of Franklin Avenue and Cox Road, behind Walgreens. “We offer sweets from cold to hot. We also sell cookies and five types of cinnamon rolls.
“People want sweets that they can’t get from restaurants,” she said.
When they headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the idea of having two shoemakers appealed to Cherryville husband-and-wife Ronnie and Rhys Allen.
“It’s definitely different,” said Ronnie Allen, who had heard about the company from the couple’s daughter, who knew how much her parents loved the shoemaker.
“It’s almost as American as mom’s apple pie,” Ronnie Allen said of his choice of dessert.
Door Dash driver Carrie Robbins said she regularly picks up meals for customers at the business, noting that many of them are duplicates. When she told Agnew she had never tasted food herself, Agnew gave her strawberry banana pudding to try.
“Very well,” Robbins said. “very good.”
For the past 17 years, Agnew has worked in a variety of jobs in Mecklenburg County, from social services to the sheriff’s office to child support. She said she left in July to open The Peach Cobbler Factory after Thanksgiving, though her only experience in the food industry was as a waitress at Applebee’s while a student at Winston-Salem State University.
“I walked out with faith. My dad, who passed away in October 2021, always told me to follow my dreams,” Agnew said. “His dream for me was to do what I love to do, which is serving people.”
Agnew greets each customer as they walk into her store. She wants to create a family-friendly atmosphere where people leave happier than they came in.
“I love helping people out, whether it’s putting a smile on their face or, in this industry, giving them the best dessert ever,” she said. “I’m happy when my customers leave with a smile on their face.”
When asked what the newcomer might want to order, Agnew began recommending products—sweet potato pecan pie, red velvet banana pudding, blackberry peach pie, cherry swirl banana pudding.
“They’re all fine,” she said finally. “That’s why a lot of people take the dessert flight. They want to try a little of everything, but they can’t decide.”
All cobblers come with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The store also sells “peach tea,” cold brew coffee and milk.