Bus driver, farmer, mechanic, outdoor guide — there’s not much Joey Kennedy doesn’t have in his repertoire. Known by some as “a Joey of all trades,” his pursuits are connected through Come Alive Outdoors — a business that feeds people’s appetites for adventure and their appetites for fresh produce.
Come Alive Outdoors began with Joey shuttling private parties for outdoor tours and events, via an old school bus he retrofitted with seats from a 1960s 747 aircraft.
His ventures have since evolved into farming, with the completion of a massive greenhouse and a successful tomato crop that’s allowed him to expand as a wholesale produce provider for local restaurants like The Leadmine.
“The bus was really my way of making money to build the greenhouse,” Joey says.
From Bus to Business
After moving back home to the pines in 2016, Joey enrolled in the horticulture program at Sandhills Community College.
“I knew I wanted to use my family’s land to grow food. I’ve always loved feeding people,” Joey says. “I’ve always said, ‘everyone eats.’ It’s what brings us together.”
Before the greenhouse, Joey’s hilltop garden produced about 100 to 200 pounds of tomatoes each season. The temperature-controlled space will allow him to go even bigger and harvest tomatoes, peppers and more all year long.
But, he doesn’t have plans to give up his bus drivers license any time soon.
“I’d love to eventually open a mobile farmers market and sell my produce out of the bus,” Joey says.
In the meantime, Joey’s busy germinating his first round of tomato plants for the greenhouse — a hybrid batch that Joey says will yield more unique flavors.
To keep up with Joey and Come Alive Outdoors, check them out on Insta.