Alabama Peanut Company (Birmingham)
The Makers: Jaime Thursby and Darrell Graf
There are those who lament the passing of Southern traditions. Then there are those who do what they can to preserve them.
Jaime Thursby and brother-in-law Darrell Graf started boiling peanuts three years ago at a local market in Bluff Park primarily because they were having trouble finding fresh boiled peanuts. Gas stations throughout the state that once took pride in their peanuts were now pouring them from a can into a slow cooker and calling it a day.
Farmers markets and brewery sales started making it obvious that Thursby and Graf weren’t alone in their hankering for quality boiled peanuts.
Before long, they were ready for their own storefront. When the legendary Peanut Depot location on Morris Avenue became available, the goober gods seemed to be showing them the way and Alabama Peanut Company had a home.
“It’s been an act of love and all of the history in the building and all of the customers that come each day,” Thursby said of the space that has been roasting peanuts since 1907. “We have 80-year-olds who have been coming in since they were kids. So it has been really cool getting to meet all of them.”
As much as roasted peanuts are a part of the Morris Avenue tradition, boiled peanuts have become a Southern favorite over the past century.
The Alabama Peanut Company is keeping both traditions alive while adding some modern, local flourishes.
Boiling peanuts takes about seven hours. Alabama Peanut Company is able to keep product available by running six custom boilers up front and five more in the back. To keep things interesting, the company offers 30 flavors and adds local tastes like beer from Good People Brewery or Wickles Pickles.
Two of the original antique roasters from 1907 still operate for the roasted peanut side of the business.
But the place isn’t just nuts.
Thursby wants to turn Alabama Peanut Company into a Southern and salty mercantile featuring Southern products. The revitalization of Morris Avenue is drawing more customers to Alabama Peanut Company and the business sees the need to offer more than the signature product.
The Product: Fresh boiled and roasted peanuts.
Take Home: Lunch Special, which consists of fresh roasted peanuts, MoonPie and a classic Coke for $3.
2016 Morris Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama 35203