‘An impulsive indulgence’: The Peach Cobbler Factory opens on the Strip

Sarah Clifton, Staff Reporter

The Peach Cobbler Factory, which celebrated its grand opening in late March, has been enjoying success in its new location on the Strip.

The chain, founded in 2013 by Louisiana natives displaced by Hurricane Katrina, focuses on something college students often find themselves searching for amidst stressful deadlines and homesickness: comfort food. 

As their website says, their goal is to “evoke the feeling of grandma’s kitchen.” 

“We’re in a great location, students will walk past here all the time, whether it’s to the UPS store or as they’re hanging out on the Strip,” said Wade Johnson, CEO of Peach Tide LLC and owner of The Peach Cobbler Factory location on the Strip. “I like to think of it as an impulsive indulgence. It’s like a small little treat, like a Snickers bar at the cash register. If you see it when you’re walking by, maybe you’ll stop in and get a little comfort.”

The store offers a multitude of desserts, ranging from cobblers, cookies and shakes, but most items feature a cobbler-related element.  

The location, sitting on the Strip in the shopping center across from Publix, features late business hours they are open until midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and Thursday through Saturday, they are open until 2 a.m. 

Johnson, who graduated from The University of Alabama in 1988, said the late hours are unique to the Tuscaloosa location, and it was by design. 

“Having been a student here and coming back every few years for games, I just knew [The Peach Cobbler Factory] would fit in perfectly here,” Johnson said. “I knew I could do the late-night thing here on the Strip and that it would work really well.” 

Johnson said The Peach Cobbler Factory on the Strip is the only location to feature red accents, decor and branding the company’s signature color is orange. 

“The University, who is my landlord, would not allow any orange on the outside of the building,” Johnson said. “So, I went to the CEO of the company, it took him a long time to decide, but when I told them that Whataburger is building a new restaurant just down the street and there’s no orange in there, they said it was good enough for them, so they finally let me do red decorations inside instead.” 

Beyond the location taking on Alabama’s signature crimson color, Johnson said what really cements Peach Cobbler Factory into Tuscaloosa is the community.

“It’s the community beyond the University students and faculty and staff that keep showing up,” Johnson said. “We have regulars already that come in three or four times a week, they’re trying different things and they’re loving it.” 

Johnson also highlighted the UA students he has worked with at the location so far. 

“We’ve had an amazing group of college students we’ve been able to hire,” Johnson said. “The kids we’ve got are so smart and sharp, it really reflects well on the University.” 

Anna Fleming, a sophomore majoring in nursing, initially worked as a shift lead, but quickly ascended the ranks to assistant manager. 

“I was not expecting to move up that fast, but it’s been such a great environment here,” Fleming said. “Getting experience talking to people allows me to become more personable, there’s a good culture here and I love all my coworkers there’s no drama and we’re all friends.” 

To learn more about the location, its menu or its hours, visit The Peach Cobbler Factory’s website.