The smell of peanuts roasting in the shell is attracting flea market and swap meet shoppers all over the nation. According to Joel Wallins, owner of Cajun Creole Products, “Some of my peanut buying customers go out there, set up at flea markets, and do a huge business. Shoppers come in to these markets, especially regulars, and that’s their first stop every time.” A key part of selling is drawing customers to the booth, and that means giving people something interesting to look at, like a roaster or a peanut grinder that makes peanut butter. Some vendors have a roaster on-site, while others just sell peanuts to customers for plain eating or future roasting. For instance, Wallins sells a lot of seasoned peanuts. Either way, the product moves. “These guys are going through lots of peanuts. One guy goes through about a ton a weekend,” Wallins says. “A new vendor could probably do a few hundred pounds in a weekend.”
Peanuts Bring Back Buyers
The S&R Portable, with a 23 pound capacity, is the best choice for swap meets, farmers markets and flea markets. This roaster is especially convenient when there is no electricity provided, because it runs off a car battery and a propane bottle. Salted and seasoned peanuts can be kept in a warmer, while unseasoned nuts work best in a roaster. Richard Morris, a peanut roaster professional with extensive swap meet experience in California, says the product works well in a swap meet setting. “Peanut roasters are outstanding out here,” he says. “They do very well because peanuts are part of the Mexican culture, like popcorn is in the United States. It is a cultural thing, especially at Christmas.” The product brings buyers back for more, Morris adds. “Most of your business will be repeat customers.” He also mentions that a large venue is a key sales driver. At the Bel-Air Swap Meet in Bloomington, CA, nearly 10,000 people come through each Saturday or Sunday.
Cajun Creole Products has been in business since 1989, and Wallins is an innovator who is glad to help retailers and flea market vendors come up to speed. “I came up with a way to season peanuts in the shell with a Cajun flavor, and I realized I was on to something,” Wallins says. Flea market vendors and their customers think so too!
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