Peanut Trail: Five Delicious Places to Shop for Local NC Peanuts

Did you know that North Carolina ranks fifth in the country for peanut production? Commercially-grown peanuts became a part of NC agriculture back in 1818. They first appeared in the lower Cape Fear region. 

Originally used as animal feed and a low-cost food item, peanuts have become a popular snacking item and often used in sought-after confections. There are five well-loved peanut companies in the North Carolina region. We’re highlighting them below.

Road Trip! Five stops on the Peanut Trail

Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts    

Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts is a family-owned business that was established in 1945. What originally started as a feed, seed, and fertilizer store known as A&B Milling grew into a peanut business. The founders of A&B Milling Company realized that North Carolina’s superior climate and soil conditions lead to perfect peanut growth. 

Now, Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts are made with only the highest-quality Virginia peanuts. The nuts are processed in their plant in Enfield, North Carolina. The milling company is open for visitors to stop by and even sample some of the peanuts. 

Some of the delicious peanut products offered by Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts include: 

  • Country Style Peanuts
  • Cajun Peanuts
  • Unsalted Peanuts 
  • Salt & Pepper Peanuts
  • Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • Raw Shelled Peanuts
  • Roasted Redskin Peanuts
  • Peanuts in the Shell
  • Peanut Brittle  
  • Chocolate Peanut Clusters 

Aunt Ruby’s products are typically sent via mail-order. The gourmet nuts from Aunt Ruby’s also make wonderful gifts! They’re used by corporations and families throughout the year to send gift combos to loved ones. 

Best Peanuts in the World!Bertie County Peanuts 

In business since 1915, Bertie County Peanuts is another popular North Carolina peanut option. The operation is located in Windsor, NC, close to the Virginia border. They accredit much of their success to Mother Nature. Windsor is surrounded by waterways which create the ideal soil for peanut growth. 

Bertie County Peanuts started as a farm supply business known as Powell & Stokes. A descendant of one of the founders, Jack Powell Sr. (AKA “Papa Jack”) began roasting blister peanuts in his popcorn popper and, from there, Bertie County Peanuts grew. 

As a family business, Bertie County Peanuts is now in its fourth generation. The original Powell & Stokes Warehouse, built in 1935, is still in use in Windsor, though the Powell & Stokes operations have moved to just outside of town in 1973. You can stop by the current warehouse to purchase peanuts. 

Today, Bertie County Peanuts is still beloved for their blister peanuts. “What are blister fried peanuts?”, you may ask. Bertie County Peanuts’ process is to boil their extra-large blanched nuts for 10 minutes and allow them to dry for a few moments before deep frying them in canola oil. Frying the peanuts while they’re still wet causes a “blister” to form on the nut. This leads to a unique flavor and texture that many families love. 

Alongside the blister fried peanuts, Bertie County Peanuts offers several other popular peanut products. 

Some of their popular sweet peanut treats include:

  • Peanut Brittle 
  • Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • Butterscotch Covered Peanuts 

Or, try something a bit more savory: 

  • Wasabi & Soy Peanuts
  • Weeping Mary’s Ghost Pepper Peanuts 
  • Dew Drop Dill Pickles 
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper Peanuts

They also offer more traditional peanuts such as: 

  • Roasted in the Shell Peanuts
  • Raw Shelled Peanuts
  • Roanoke River Red Skins

Mackey's Ferry Peanuts & GiftsMackey’s Ferry Peanuts

Mackey’s Ferry Peanuts has been producing tasty products for peanut lovers since 1983. They have a store in Jamesville, North Carolina which offers various nut samples. The store also offers many options for those with a sweet tooth. Everything from peanut butter cookies (made with their in-house peanut butter) to Butternut Crunch chocolates line the shelves. 

Mackey’s Ferry gets its name from local Eastern North Carolina history. There was a ferry that was used by Norfolk Railroad. The ferry ran from Edenton and Mackey’s Landing, carrying train cars up and down the Albemarle Sound.  

Mackey’s Ferry Peanuts uses Virginia peanuts. Their nuts are grown on farms in North Eastern North Carolina. Many of these farms were converted from swampland, meaning that the soil is highly fertile and yields a superior product. 

Popular Mackey’s Ferry Peanuts products include: 

  • Original Recipe Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Peanut Brittle 
  • French Fried Peanuts
  • Sugar Coated Peanuts 
  • Flame Thrower Peanuts 
  • Cajun Roasted Peanuts in the Shell 
  • Raw Peanuts in the Shell
Dill pickle flavored peanuts from Carolina Nut

Oh, they're for real! If you're into pickles, vinegar and peanuts, this is your snack! They are best described as having a salty vinegar punch with a hint of garlic.

Carolina Nut Company 

A family-owned business, Carolina Nut Company has been in operation for more than 60 years. They are located in Henderson, NC, and offer a variety of unique peanut flavors. 

Carolina Nut Company has a close tie to another Southern tradition: racing. The Carolina Nut Co. is a sponsor of ThorSport racing in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck. 

They offer fifteen unique flavors. The peanuts are hand-roasted and completely coated in seasonings. Currently, the nuts are sold in Lowe’s Foods, Menards, and Rural King or are available for online orders. They’re quickly expanding. 

Unique flavors offered by Carolina Nut Co. include: 

  • Buttermilk Ranch 
  • Smokey Mozzarella
  • Bourbon BBQ 
  • Bacon Ranch
  • Dill Pickle
  • Sriracha Ranch

They also offer more traditional peanuts such as:

  • Mr. Smiley Honey Roasted
  • Mr. Smiley Gourmet Sea Salt
  • Mr. Smiley Gourmet Salted 
  • Salted Peanuts
Gift basket of Bakers' Peanuts

Why settle on one flavor, when you can take home several. Chances are you'll finish one container before you even pull into your garage!

Bakers’ Southern Traditions Peanuts

Bakers’ Southern Traditions Peanuts are grown on the Baker family farm in Roxobel, North Carolina. They use Virginia peanuts to create the perfect peanut snacks. The Baker family brings a true at-home, small business feel to the peanut industry. Each of their products is made with close attention to detail and a little extra love.

Currently, you can find Bakers’ Southern Traditions Peanuts in the “Buy Local” sections of Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods, Publix, and Kroger. A few specialty stores also stock their products such as Blue Moon Gift Shop in Wilmington, NC, and the Cotton Company in Wake Forest, NC. Or, you can place an order online.

Tasty Options from Bakers’ Southern Traditions Peanuts include: 

  • Carolina Cajun Peanuts
  • Lightly Salted Blister Fried Peanuts
  • Salt & Pepper Peanuts
  • Pumpkin Spice Peanuts
  • White Chocolate Covered Peanuts 
  • Raw Redskin Peanuts 

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