Wells’ woodwork shares billing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 1999

Dan Wells makes a living building houses. The houses aren’t for any new subdivision. The houses are for the birds.

Wells owns and operates Wells Produce on John R. Junkin&160;Drive. Any motorist can quickly see the brightly colored red and green roof tops of the houses as well as wooden cutouts.

Although the birdhouses are easily seen, Wells is also known for the produce he sells. Wells raises tomatoes, peas, butter beans and squash at his home in Natchez.

Email newsletter signup

Before using this location, Wells operated the Exxon station at the corner of Homochitto and Martin Luther King Streets. While running the station, Wells sold produce at a corner stand.

Nine years ago, Wells and his wife, Ann, relocated to John R. Junkin Drive. The produce stand began sharing billing with the woodwork.

&uot;I just started piddling with the wood,&uot; Wells said. &uot;The birdhouses are the most popular items followed closely by our homegrown tomatoes.&uot;

Of all the woodwork that Wells produces, the birdhouses are the most difficult. Wells averages making 35-40 birdhouses a month.

&uot;I usually make 20 houses at a time,&uot; he said. &uot;I can make 20 just as fast as I can make five. Once you get started, you can make them quickly.&uot;

Wells’ produce has a loyal following. &uot;We probably have people in a 75 mile radius come and buy vegetables,&uot; Wells said. &uot;Some have driven as far as 100 miles for our shelled butter beans.&uot;

Wells also makes wooden cutouts. Some of the cutouts such as the Looney Tunes characters are regulars. Wells can make wooden cutouts of sports teams mascots.

Wells’ grandson, Brandon, helps out during the summer. &uot;I hope I can pass this down to him one day,&uot; Wells said.