After being married for 58 years, Bob lost his wife Sue in November of 2019. Bob and Sue Darr moved to Seven Lakes North in 2001, and Bob served as President of the HOA years ago.
“It was a gift from God to end up here,” Bob said.
Since her passing, he realized that it was no good for him to be sitting around the house with nothing to do.
“I thought I can’t just sit and do nothing,” he said. “I kept thinking about what to do.”
It wasn’t too long before Bob decided to run a produce stand to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the community: a win-win for farmers and locals.
“Sue and I did this together 25 years ago in Virginia. We did it for two-and-a-half months,” Bob said. “We had a ball doing it. We didn’t make money from it, but that wasn’t the goal anyhow.”
A friend in Virginia owned a hardware store. He allowed Bob and Sue to sell wholesale flowers and produce on the property.
Bob spoke to the owners of Russel’s Antiques to see if he could use their property to set up a stand in Seven Lakes. In mid-April, he set up Seven Lakes Produce.
“The idea here is to have fresh stuff,” he said. “If it’s not fresh, I throw it away.”
Bob originally set up two 13×13’ tents, but during a storm they flew down Hwy 211.
“Now I have a tent that can withstand 60mph winds,” he said.
Bob works tirelessly throughout the week getting fresh produce from all over North Carolina, and even sometimes South Carolina so that locals can conveniently get good products right in Seven Lakes.
One morning, Bob was up at 3:00am in Winston-Salem getting produce for the stand for that day.
“It’s been a lot of fun. A heck of a lot more work than I thought – probably more than what an 83-year-old should have bitten off, but it’s too late now. I think people need good fresh produce, and it’s hard to find.”
Fortunately, all the hard work pays off. Bob loves being at the stand throughout the week, chatting with those who stop by.
“We talk about my days then, their days now,” he said. “People in this area are wonderful. I know a lot of the people here. It’s neat to have them chat about this, that, and the other.”
Bob is providing all local produce that he can. Current local products include peaches and corn. He also provides potatoes, citrus, local honey, and other fruits and vegetables. Local tomatoes and melons will also be in season shortly, and he plans to have grapes around Labor Day.
Seven Lakes Produce is currently open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am-6:00pm. Cash, credit, and debit are accepted. Bob is working to have EBN cards accepted shortly. For more info, call (910) 315-4221; located off Hwy 211 in front of Russell’s Antiques by First Bank in Seven Lakes.