Stacy Crenshaw is a Crenshaw by marriage, not by birth – but she’s the driving force behind the family’s grassroots business, Billie’s Pecans and More. Started by her mother-in-law Billie Crenshaw in the early 1960s, Billie raised four young boys on the Crenshaw farm (in Crenshaw, MS – named for her husband Bob’s grandfather), where they grew cotton and soybeans as well as pecans. Billie was of the mindset that all those pecans could be put to good use as snacks for her boys, so she scooped up handfuls of pecans lining the driveway of their home and got cracking, so to speak, creating recipes in the farmhouse kitchen.
A generation later, Stacy is taking the Billie’s brand to new heights, incorporating more recipes and broadening its fan base one tasty treat at a time. Stacy grew up in nearby Clarksdale and graduated from the University of Mississippi. After working in marketing at First Tennessee, she became the sales rep for Billie’s. Stacy leads a lovely team of ladies from Crenshaw, who work together in a 100-year-old building on Main Street, crafting and packaging 15,000 pounds of pecans and untold amounts of Billie’s cheese crispies and other treats every year. We caught up with Stacy during the busiest time of her year, the holiday season, and we are thrilled to introduce you to this Southern businesswoman who drives from her Memphis home to Crenshaw to bring sweet happiness to all she meets.
You married into the family, but you’re now the boss. Who, from the family, works in the business? And – we have to ask – are you the boss of your husband?
I did marry into the family, and yes, I’m now the boss of Billie’s Pecans AND the boss of my husband! My daughter, Bailey, now works with me. She is the third generation of Billie’s Pecans.
Tell us about day-to-day operations. How many pecan trees are on the farm, how many pounds of pecans do you sell annually, and what’s your bestseller?
There are about 500 trees on the farm; however, I like to use the best and largest pecans available, which means sometimes I have to get my pecans from other shellers. I act as CEO and COO for my company and oversee every aspect of Billie’s Pecans & More. Bailey is director of marketing and assistant manager of operations. We sell about 15,000 pounds of pecans a year and our bestseller is the Cinnamon Spice Pecans.
Do you have a personal favorite flavor?
Just like Billie, my favorite flavor is Cinnamon Spiced.
How much of your business is online versus in stores?
We are about 85% online, with the other 15% selling from our shop or attending holiday shows. We are excited because we are taking steps to expand to retail stores across the country where you can get Billie’s treats year-round! Several local Memphis retailers that carry our products include Millstone Nursery and Dixie Pickers.
When you’re not thinking about pecans, what are your hobbies, and how do you unwind?
I love to read, exercise and head down to the beach. I unwind, especially during the busy season, with a hot, soothing bath at night and a good glass of red wine.
Finish this sentence: If I had a superpower, it would be…
Teleporting. So I can cut my commute to Crenshaw everyday!
What one word describes you?
What inspires you?
My passion for Billie’s Pecans and seeing the satisfaction of happy customers and knowing we have the best product on the market. I love interacting with so many fun and different individuals and companies.
What’s your best piece of advice for others?
Always enjoy what you do and make sure you stay balanced between family and career.
What are three lighthearted things you can’t live without excluding faith, family and friends?
Chocolate milk that I have every morning without fail; Cinnamon Spiced Pecans and Cheese Crispies, and a glass of good red wine.
Thanks to Lisa Buser for her wonderful photos of Stacy and the Billie’s team!
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