At Peacock Farms they do it all!

Novo Owner, Robin Covey first met Jessica and The Peacock family in 1985 when they debuted at a SLO County Farmers’ Market and he was shopping for newly opened Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria. It was a time ripe with new beginnings and over the years they’ve continued to meet at the market. We caught up with Jessica Nichols (formerly Peacock) for a little Peacock history and update on the farm today…

Peacock Farms is truly a one-stop shop. Want a glass of estate grown Pinot Noir, or perhaps a ripe
heirloom tomato? Jessica and Logan have it. Or would you rather learn how to make mozzarella and candles? Not a problem, Jessica teaches these classes. Oh wait, in the market for a wedding venue? Yup, their eight acre property vamps up into an intimate wedding locale April through November–complete, of course, with their label providing all the wine and an on-site coordinator to complete your celebration. Impressive is an understatement when describing the Nichols–they also have provided produce to Novo and our sister restaurants for over 25 years, from the time Jessica was a Peacock.

It all really got started when Jessica was five years old. She and the rest of the Peacock clan lived in Dinuba, California, in the Fresno Valley. They grew stone fruits, table grapes, raisin grapes, and row crops on the family farm, shipping wholesale to make a living. One Summer, while her three sisters were away at 4-H camp, Jessica’s mom attempted to stave off her boredom by taking her on a trip to the coast. “Rather than going with an empty wagon…” as her mother would say, they loaded up their wagon with produce, drove to the K-mart farmers’ market in Arroyo Grande, and set up shop. This was 1985. What they found changed the course of the Peacock family. They discovered their produce sold for almost three times more at farmers’ market than through their current wholesale accounts. So, from that trip on, the family would travel back and forth to the coast, selling at the local markets. Jessica’s parents, fourth generation farmers now in their seventies, are still making the drive.

As for Jessica, she grew up and came to coast to stay. While attending school at Cal Poly, she met Logan Nichols, a local with no farming background, but “an absolute go getter, and he’s just good at everything he touches,” according to Jessica. With her market background, Jessica had been disappointed by the lack of tomatoes in winter, and so set out to remedy the problem. She and Logan teamed up while they were still dating to begin a greenhouse operation–and finally enjoyed fresh, delicious tomatoes all year round. Their entrepreneurial endeavor became more than just a way to put themselves through college and upon graduation, Logan had to decide: pursue pole vaulting toward the Olympics, or continue refining his greenhouse methods. He chose tomatoes.

And so, they married, found their current property in 2004–an abandoned walnut farm–and kept growing. They expanded their family with two beautiful children, Rebecca and Wyatt, and extended their skills into winemaking. And through all this, they remain a mom & pop operation, with Logan doing the farming & winemaking, Jessica overseeing operations, marketing, and PR. If you are lucky enough to attend a wedding at Peacock Farms–or better yet, join their wine club–you will be the recipient of a breadth of variety, but boutique in style. Nichols makes blends combining Tempranillo, Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah, all in about 3,000 cases per year. His winemaking parallels much of their business ideology: do a lot, with a little, and make it well.

 

Jessica and Logan’s latest pursuits involve scarring pumpkins with custom designs for Disneyland’s Club
35 and opening a tasting room/production facility close to the farm for their label in the coming months. And just like she did growing up, Jessica’s kids tag along to markets, and charm you into their community. Find Peacock Farms at the following farmers’ markets: Solvang (Wed), San Luis Obispo (Thurs, Sat),
Templeton (Sat) and Cambria (Fri). They grow a variety of tomatoes–heirloom varieties, Early Girl, Big Beef, yellow and orange varietals–available at markets, Novo dishes, and at their soon-to-be farmstand and tasting room.