Opening a produce stand seemed like a natural step for Larry Pinkard and Doris McNabb, says their granddaughter Heather Headrick, who helps run 4 Way Produce on the corner of Boynton Drive and Akins Road in Ringgold.

The family, who opened their stand two years ago, has been involved in the growing and selling of produce for many years and has a heart for their community.

“Most people who stop by leave smiling or laughing, even if they come in upset,” says Headrick.

McNabb, who recently retired after working 18 years as a special education para-pro in local public schools, says the same. “Sometimes we feel like bartenders. We’re not only a place people can find produce, we care about people and they can share their worries with us.”

But make no mistake – 4 Way is a serious stop for not only fresh fruits and vegetables but a wide variety of other things.

For one, Larry McNabb, who built the produce stand, is the cook-in-residence. McNabb produces canned relishes, pickles, eggs, beets, green beans, chow, chow, tomatoes, soups and jellies and jams. He is also the wood chopper – customers can purchase fireplace-sized logs: hickory, oak, cherry, cedar and other woods.

Customers will find tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, strawberries, squash, okra, green beans, cucumbers, corn, potatoes and a large variety of other produce at 4 Way. They’ll also find honey produced in Ringgold, two varieties of boiled peanuts and numerous non-food items, including locally made birdhouses. And for fishers, 4 Way sells live bait – worms and crickets.

One thing 4 Way has that most other produce stands don’t is weekend lemonade sales. It’s a small business within a business, run by 6-year-old Kindyl, another granddaughter of the owners. Kindyl charges $1 for a 16-ounce glass of lemonade.

The owners of 4 Way make two or three trips a week to pick up produce. “Last week, we made a run to the Amish community in Englewood (Tenn.),” says McNabb. Pinkard says when you’re in the produce business, you soon learn about all the best places to find good products for your customers.

4 Way Produce is located at 15 Akins Road in Ringgold. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. They can be reached at 706-935-3113.