The Peanut Shop Stories
The Peanut Shop was once the home to Planters Peanuts. Our Nashville nuthouse was one of 2,000 stores Planters had across the country. In 1960 Planters did away with their retail stores and that is how The Peanut Shop came to be. Currently, our shop is one of only four original Planter Peanut stores still open and operating. We have been serving Music City fresh roasted nuts in the Arcade since 1927. We pride ourselves on the shop’s long history in our city and with our customers. Preserving the shop’s 80+ year history is important to us.
Our product is weighed with over-under scales used in our shop since late 1930s. Our ceiling has peanut-themed wallpaper Planters created for all their shops. Originally, Planters wanted the shop owners to string peanuts to drape along the ceilings and walls. After attempting Planter’s request, the shop owners found the task consumed too much time and was ineffective. Hence, peanut wallpaper! Our peanut roaster, Little Bertha, is an original piece we have kept in our shop. After modifying a coffee roaster, Planter’s commissioned to have roasters made for each shop. The roasters came in a multitude of sizes and were adorned with Mr. Peanut emblems. Mr. Peanut is a recognizable figure in today’s society.
When our shop was a Planter’s Peanut store, Mr. Peanut would stand outside giving a taste of peanuts to all who walked by the store. Many people remember the peanut man fondly and ask us about him frequently. In 1991 Kathy drove to Dallas, TX and to buy an original Mr. Peanut costume from a Peanut Shop that closed. In the warmer months we put our Nashville Nut in the Arcade to pass out peanuts to visitors of the Arcade. The sight of our giant peanut walking up and down the Arcade recalls good memories for some while creating new memories for others. Although The Peanut Shop is no longer affiliated with Planter’s Peanut, they are a big part of our history. We have a small museum, of sorts, showcasing Mr. Peanut and Planter Peanut memorabilia, as well as other pieces of The Peanut Shop’s rich history in Nashville, TN.
Today The Peanut Shop is owned and operated by sisters, Kathy and Olivia, who still roast nuts every day, just as it’s been done since 1927. In addition to the fresh roasted nuts, a wide variety of milk and dark chocolate nuts, raisins, pretzels and espresso beans are also offered to satisfy most any sweet tooth.
When Kathy bought The Peanut Shop in December 1989 she was fortunate enough to meet the original owner Mr. John Saunders. This is one of his stories. . . .
“My biggest account was Barnum Bailey circus. They would order 2000 pounds of peanuts in the shell. So, I would roast all night long and it took a while using only one 25 pound peanut roaster. But, early in the morning I would see the elephants pulling the wagons through the Arcade alley up to the shop. I would use the pulley upstairs in the shop and hoist the peanuts in 100 pound gunny-sacks onto the wagons. Off the elephants would go to the fair grounds.”
Maple nut goodies were the first sweet treat The Peanut Shop sold. Before air conditioning no chocolate could be sold for obvious reasons. Maple nut goodies did not melt, so it was not an issue. We sell maple nut goodies today and they are the freshest goodies around.