THOMAS W.Va. – In the heart of Tucker County’s historic Thomas, Macy Lou’s Gourmet Apple Company sits near art galleries and other restaurants.
The street is trafficked a lot by tourists and community members who have supported Macy Lou’s caramel- and chocolate-covered apple business since she opened at her location in March.
“The tourist up here help me out a lot because there’s so many of them, and this was the only place I thought would be the best place because there’s no other space for business up here. They’re all so full. There’s so many people up here. One apple to one person, that just gets spread out to where ever they go back to. They might take a couple home with them… [the apples are] getting spread out all over,” said Macy Lou, business owner.
Macy Lou started making apples with her family when she was 16. The family would make them as gifts for Christmas and other special occasions. Macy Lou would end up doing some catering for her family events.
The first apples she sold publicly were leftovers from her cousin’s wedding. She had 40, and she decided to reach out to people and sell them on Facebook.
Once she started selling apples from her Facebook page, they went so fast that she ended up looking for a physical location to start her business.
After much renovation, Macy Lou had a beautiful shop to sell her apples, and pies and apple butter made by her grandmother.
Macy Lou’s Gourmet Apple shop sells T-shirts and handmade mugs along with the edible treats.
Macy Lou’s parents and other family members help her out a lot, but she said that they have their own jobs and lives, so opening through the whole week by herself is just not possible right now.
Macy Lou’s Gourmet Apple Company is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Her next big is to goal to hire an employee, so she can open up throughout the week. She said that if she can have someone to work the storefront, she can make everything in the kitchen on her own.
“It’s the only thing I’ve found that I’m actually really good at. I have gotten really quick at it, and the more you do it, the better you get… it just has worked really well. Food is really hard, and there are certain standards you have to meet, but I’ve had it work so far. So far so good,” said Macy Lou.
Once she hires an employee and is able to extend her hours, Macy Lou may consider relocating to a bigger space as her business continues to grow.
On her busiest day, Macy Lou brings in 800 gourmet apples to sell.
At just 19-years-old, Macy Lou has built a business with help from her family, and she sells out almost every weekend.
“It has done so well right now, just doing this place would keep me going, but I would love to expand eventually, but we’ll see,” said Macy Lou.
Customers have been asking for candied apples, so Macy Lou’s next project is to give that a try.
She tries to introduce a new flavor apple each month, and for Christmas, she is thinking about trying a peppermint apple. Up to this point, she has created 20 different types of gourmet apples.
Along with her website and Facebook page, Macy Lou has an Instagram for her growing business.
She started making apples out of her kitchen, and now she has store with a kitchen just for making gourmet apples.
You can find Macy Lou’s Gourmet Apple Company at 272 State Highway 32 in Thomas.