Editor’s note: This article was written by Colin Balfe, director of The Marketplace by TheBlaze, and is part of a series of stories highlighting businesses in TheBlaze’s eCommerce channel.

Lt. Col. Fred Parker gave 30 years of his life to the U.S. Air Force. Military service meant constant travel for Fred and his family, but they always went home to their farm in Virginia to celebrate the holidays.

When he retired in 1983, Fred and his family went home again. Instead of sitting in his rocking chair, though, Fred picked up his plow and turned the family farm into a family business. For those who knew Fred, this wasn’t much of a surprise. Someone whose life is engrained with hard work doesn’t relax easily. For the Parkers, hard work has been a family attribute for generations, allowing their business to not only grow but flourish.

Southeastern Virginia is a region with a rich agricultural history. Continuing in this heritage, the Parker family has long been known for growing extraordinary, extra-large Virginia peanuts. Even before starting his business, Fred would always roast them in his signature way with 100% pure peanut oil. Everybody who tried them loved them, and that’s how Parker’s Peanuts was born.

The story behind Parkers Peanuts

Bob Parker, wife Lori, daughter Caroline and son Marshall sitting on the front porch of the family home built in 1805, and the actual site of where Bob and Lori were married. (Photo: Parker family)

Now the second generation of peanut lovers is carrying on the Parker’s Peanuts legacy. Fred’s son, Bob Parker, grew up with the business. Working long hours with his father from an early age provided Bob with the work ethic he needed to eventually take over the business entirely. His hard work turned into a powerful dedication to making something he’d be proud of.“It’s in my blood,” Bob says, “and my family heritage is important to me.”

Last year, Parker’s Peanuts joined The Marketplace by TheBlaze, as an example of how an American small business can succeed through family unity, hard work and dedication to creating a product to be proud of. At The Marketplace, Parker’s features their finest gourmet peanut flavors including Salt & Vinegar, Cajun, Butter Toffee, Salt & Pepper, Roasted Garlic and more.

“We’re kind of obsessive about keeping everything fresh,” Bob says. “When people taste our peanuts, that’s all I need—we make a product that you really can’t compare to other peanuts.”

Parker's Peanuts

Photos courtesy of Bob Parker.

Since taking the reins of Parker’s Peanuts on the family farm, Bob and his family have strived to produce the finest quality peanuts imaginable.

They still use Fred Parker’s original recipe, roasting the delicious, crunchy Virginia peanuts in pure peanut oil. After tasting Parker’s, some people (this writer included) feel like they’re tasting peanuts for the very first time.

“When you hear stories of the traditions people have with Parker’s Peanuts, how they take them on vacation or send them during the holidays, at the end of the day, those are the kinds of stories that make it worth the hard work.” Bob recalls.

If you want to support a small business worth your hard earned money, you will not be let down by this family business ready to earn your trust.