For more than three years, the friendly faces of Dudley and Joy Bromley have been familiar fixtures under the shade of one of the wild tamarind trees on Shamrock Road in Savannah. Retired and with little income, the couple, both 70, took to selling produce and fruit there to help with bills and other living expenses.
“My first wife died a few years ago and I asked the Lord to send me another good wife and he did,” said Mr. Bromley on a recent afternoon.
Mrs. Bromley, in the middle of a sale, stops to wrap her arms around her husband, “I love him, too,” she says, her attention momentarily straying from a waiting customer.
A car pulls up. Mrs. Bromley jumps up and peers into the car window. “Yes?” she asks.
“You have any bananas?” the driver queries.
Mr. Bromley smiles, shaking his head. “No bananas today.”
Still, the driver gets out.
“I want bananas but I just can’t stop and buy nothing,” she explains. “Give me a slice of the pumpkin.”
The Bromleys’ customers are clearly fond of them, not just for their selection of local produce and fruits, but for their pleasant personalities and quick humor. Laughter rings out often, elicited by something as simple as the purchase of a scotch bonnet pepper.
The Bromleys know all their regulars by name and recognize those who could use a little something extra, because they have been there themselves.
“We make do, only asking God’s blessing and giving thanks, too,” says Mr. Bromley.
“It’s hard when a person gets knocked down in life. We all need to make a living and this is what we do, selling produce and making people smile along the way,” adds his wife.
Both Mr. Bromley and his wife are farmers to the core.
“We plant a little bit of everything. We have been selling from this spot for three years now and we would hate to lose it,” says Mr. Bromley.
On a good day of sale, the couple can make up to $100. “It’s a little something to pay the water and light bill,” Mr. Bromley says.
He proudly notes his wife pulls bush and can plant anything, making them a true husband and wife team.
The Bromleys said their produce stand is frequented by people from all walks of life – police officers, teachers, construction workers, housewives.
“They all stop by, people just love us and we love them, too. If we feel they are not satisfied, we just crack a joke and they laugh and go away happy,” says Mrs. Bromley.
Pointing to the chickens pecking in the background on discarded produce, Mr. Bromley says, “We look after the chickens around here too because we love the local chicken, not the store-bought ones.”
Just then, another customer pulls up.
“I have a pot on fire and just rushed out to grab a slice of pumpkin,” says the customer.
In response, Mrs. Bromley hefts half a pumpkin onto the scale.
“What you cook?” she asks.
“I cooking some cow foot soup,” the man replies. Mrs. Bromley hands him the pumpkin, and a little something extra.
“Here is a pear, and stay close to the pot,” she suggests, bidding another satisfied customer goodbye.
Retirees Dudley and Joy Bromley are the friendly proprietors of a Savannah roadside stand who have made their produce business a true team effort. They have gained a loyal following of many satisfied customers.