In 1973, our father, Bob Riddick and his twin brother, Bill - along with their wives (Judy and Gaynelle), opened The Peanut Patch. The original concept was to have a furniture stripping business to refinish antiques. Since this required an individual to be present every day to accept furniture, it seemed only natural to have a gift shop.
They chose to house the operation in a turn of the century building on Main Street in Courtland, Virginia. They were able to find over 300 craftsmen who sold their handicrafts in the shop on consignment.
Southampton County, where the gift shop is located, was one of the world's largest peanut producing counties. At that time, one could travel through the county and not know where to purchase peanuts. They decided at that time to sell Virginia peanuts and promote them worldwide. Hence, the name - The Peanut Patch. Customers could visit this unique shop and have a variety of experiences. Visitors could journey through the upstairs antique section, browse through the pig and peanut displays, take a class in decoupage, or sit around the potbellied stove in rocking chairs eating a ham biscuit and drinking a Coca-Cola. It was and still is a business of family and friends. After a few years, we decided to cook, package and sell our own brand of Virginia type peanuts. Virginia peanuts are known for their large size and crunchy texture. Ours are cooked in pure peanut oil to ensure their healthful qualities and to maintain the peanut flavor. In 1992, The Peanut Patch became nationally recognized for its Virginia peanuts as a finalist in the International Fancy Food and Confection Show in the categories of "snack foods" and "classic." These award-winning peanuts are sold worldwide through our catalog, website, Amazon.com and other retailers.
In 1994, The Peanut Patch moved from downtown Courtland to Rt. 58 bypass. Aside from having a few extras such as air conditioning, this move has had a major impact on our business success. We are conveniently located between Virginia Beach, Virginia and Interstate 85 and 95 and attract travelers from all over the country. The move and a renovation of the gift shop prompted a change in our gift selection. Today, we feature specialty foods and wines, home accessories and decor, jewelry, clothes, children's items, unique local artwork, Virginia made items, our own award-winning Virginia peanuts, and much more. Not only does the shop offer gifts for any occasion, but our excellent staff can customize gift baskets.
Over the years, our super extra large gourmet Virginia type peanuts have become increasingly popular and have won several International Specialty Food Awards. In 2005, we made the decision to rebrand our product line to better position the company for growth and to protect the company's future. The rebranding allowed us to trademark our brand name, expand our specialty food product lines and to market more effectively in the U.S. and in other countries. In order to trademark a brand name, we needed to create or manufacture a name. It was important to us that this "made up name" have special meaning. Hence, FERIDIES® was developed which comprises a piece of each of our family member's last names (Alice & Paul ShafFER, Judy & Bob RIDdick, Jane & Ted FrIES). The gift shop located in Courtland, VA retains The Peanut Patch name.
In 2007, we built a new manufacturing facility just a mile down the road from The Peanut Patch gift shop in Southampton County's Agri Business Park.
Here, we take pleasure in cooking, packaging and distributing the World's Best Peanuts and Other Specialty Foods.
Our family and qualified staff are here to help you in any way. Our mission has and continues to be promoting Virginia peanuts - by selling them worldwide, by educating the public about the healthful qualities of peanuts, and by leading their promotion in the gourmet food industry. Our family thanks you for your continued support and patronage. The success of the company lies in providing our customers with the best peanuts and dependable, genuine customer service. As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments. Please stop by to visit our Peanut Patch Gift Shop at 27478 Southampton Pkwy in Courtland VA and have a few peanuts while browsing through our unique shop.