Southern Peanut Company began doing business in Dublin, North Carolina in 1936. Daniel Brisson, a native of the small farming community, began to produce peanut seed for the farmers, and to buy their crops in the fall when they were harvested. After he was killed in an automobile accident in 1941, his eldest son, Dixon, took over the business, while a younger son, Houston, left for World War II. At the end of the war, Houston returned home to work for the family business.
During the early years, half of the crop was lost before it was delivered to the marketplace because of poor equipment and having to stack the peanuts to dry for long periods of time in the field. This subjected the peanuts to a wide range of environmental hazards for extended periods of time. In the fifties, with the advent of the commercial peanut dryers and better harvesting equipment the yields of peanuts grew to record levels. Houston installed the first commercial peanut dryer in the area.
Southern Peanut Company would buy the crops from the farmer and grade them to sell to bakeries, other vendors and processors of candies. The Virginia type peanut was the only variety of peanut used at this point. The bright, pretty hulled peanuts were used for in shell peanuts, while the darker hulled peanuts were shelled and used in the candies and bakeries. The operation was very seasonal and left little to be done in the winter and summer.
In the early 60's, Houston ventured out into the processing world with Peanut Processors, Inc. He started the business with two products , Roasted in shell peanuts and Roasted Salted in shell peanuts. These products remain popular today. At this point, peanuts were produced for other companies under their label, sold in bulk, and the house label of Houston's Peanuts was born. While building the processing business, Houston continued to buy peanuts in the fall of the year for his processing company and for other shellers, such as Southern Peanut Company. In 1969, he bought Southern Peanut Company after his brother died. Today Peanut Processors, Inc. is the largest customer of Southern Peanut Company. During these years, Houston was in charge of buying and selling, while his wife, Irene, managed the office and public relations.
In the Seventies, their son, Nile, joined the company for a while. He was instrumental in putting the oil roasting operation in place. This led to blanching, dry roasting, honey roasting, and granulating peanuts. The varieties of peanuts used now expanded to runners and Spanish. When people would drive through the town and smell the peanuts roasting they would stop and try to buy them. This was the beginning of the Houston's Retail Outlet.
In 1986, their daughter, Rhee, began to work part time in the outlet and has built it into a party shop complete with peanuts, tree nuts, mixes, homemade candies, fresh flowers, and gifts for all seasons. As the outlet began to grow, she has moved into the office and is involved in the daily administrative operations of all companies.
In the early nineties, Peanut Processors, Inc. opened a plant in Sherman, Texas. This would make shipping to the West Coast easier. The products produced there are peanut butter, oil roasted peanuts, and peanut granules. At the same time, the plant in Dublin began to produce peanut butter also.
Today all of our products are USDA approved through the TQSA program. We strive to be number one in quality and in service. Many of our employees have worked in this business for two generations. We will soon be going into our fourth generation of family members in this business. As global conditions change so will our market.
We hope you will try our products and that you enjoy them.