Cuero Pecan House: Not just nuts
Aug. 24, 2013 at 3:24 a.m.
Updated Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:26 a.m.
Photography by: SARAH GANZHORN
CUERO - The Cuero Pecan House offers a lot more than a bunch of nuts.
Although owned and operated by self-proclaimed "two nuts," Erwin and Annette Rath's business has expanded from simply buying and selling pecans to a thriving, multi-faceted operation.
Although owned and operated by self-proclaimed, "two nuts," Erwin and Annette Rath's business has expanded from simply buying and selling pecans to a thriving, multi-faceted operation.
"Expanding our kitchen and doing all the in-house merchandise has been the biggest thing," said Erwin Rath, also known as Junior or JR. "Between the pecan pies and casseroles, that's been the biggest change."
Yes, the Cuero Pecan House sells casseroles - what Annette Rath calls "gourmet to go" - and they are one of the hottest items flying out of the business' commercial kitchen.
The expansion to making in-house candies and other merchandise came when former partner Mary Beth Finney was on board from 2006-12 and came up with some of the ideas.
Candied pecans and specialty gourmet food items were added to the product list. A new gift box, dressier and more efficient for shipping food products, was designed.
"We slowly started doing our own products using our own recipes, published a catalog and created a website," Annette Rath said.
Now the store sells its products not only locally during pecan season, but also to wholesale retailers across the country year-round.
In addition, the Pecan House makes party favors, gift baskets and personalized gift packages for events.
The Pecan House was started in the 1960s by J.F. Elder. He spent the pecan season that runs from November to mid-January buying pecans and cracking pecans for the general public.
When Wayne Wolf took over the business 40 years later, he expanded to include selling fresh cracked pecan halves and pieces in a simple gift box.
The Raths bought the business in June 2003.
The business now makes cookies, pies and candies, and they are always experimenting, Erwin Rath said.
"We haven't forgotten our roots. We have fresh pecans all year long," he said. "It's not just the Pecan House anymore," he said.