Bright sunflowers reach tall, squash vines crawl and rosemary flourishes where bees buzz about pollinating and making honey on Briarcliff Rd., in front of the storefront and carwash that Papa D, Stanley ‘Stan the Man’ Joffe, opened nearly 5 years ago. Behind the shop, a field of stunning raised beds are home to a beautiful, edible, demonstration garden. Beneath the tomatoes, fig trees and nasturtiums, the trellised beans, well-tended soil and beneficial microbes, lies a sweet partnership.
“I planted a seed and grew a farmer.” Farmer D’s charming business partner, wood-shop manager and father describes when asked about his gardening experience. Aside from visiting farmer’s with his own dad when he was a kid, Papa D’s skills revolve around wood-working and raising a family, but his agricultural outreach, planting that one seed, has been enormous. The father and son have supported each other since Daron’s birth and now, with a successful shared business, one sweet grandson and another grandkid on the way, Papa D could not be more proud.
After taking interest in sustainable agriculture in college, Daron bought a farm in Wisconsin, aiming to “grow his own sandwich.” He quickly became a fixture in his small, Wisconsin town- Papa D remembers his son celebrating his 21st birthday on the new farm, impressed by how everyone in the community showed up to join the celebration. A few years later, Daron moved back to Georgia, starting an online consulting business in Savannah. After talking to Papa D about how a store presence would help expand his local outreach, they agreed to share the extra garage space at the family carwash. They filled the shop with garden tools, soil amendments, seeds and books to support and expand Daron’s consultation business. With almost immediate interest in the shop, Papa D describes a strong synergy with his son- it was a no-brainier to start building raised garden beds, potting tables and other garden fixtures in the carwash garage, wrapping more of Papa D’s skills into the mix.
The hard-working duo rely on each other heavily, but never worry about what the other one is doing, their appreciation of one another’s skills has served them well as business partners and family members. Papa D fondly remembers when they installed a garden at The Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. The project wouldn’t have been possible without his woodworking expertise, yet he credits his son’s ability to teach and engage kids. He says “one of my proudest moments was seeing the joy in kid’s faces as I watched Daron introduce them to their new garden.”
Papa D looks forward to watching his new grandkids grow up and potentially bring a new ring of ideas and skills to the family business, watch them follow opportunities that spark their passion and figure out ways to translate their personal growth into valuable components of their own communities. The apples don’t fall far from the tree, Papa D- Happy Father’s Day from all of us to you!