The letters factory in California that once churned out popcorn for local chain restaurants was a joint venture between the letter factory’s former owners, Peanuts and Peach Cobbler, and a letter company based in Austin.
Now, the owners of the letters factory, American factory direct and The Popcorn Factory, are building a new factory in Peoria, Illinois, that will produce the peanut butter for local brands.
“We’re trying to figure out what’s next,” said Peanuts CEO, David A. Peeples.
“And the way we see it, Peoria is a really good market, and we have a lot of opportunity there.”
The Peanuts brand is based in the Peoria area, which is about 10 miles west of Chicago, but Peanuts is also based in Southern California, in the city of Los Angeles, and across the state line in California.
The Peanut Company is also expanding across the country, with the creation of a new manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, that is expected to create 100 jobs.
The new factory is expected by the end of the year, according to Peebles, who said that his company plans to open it in the spring.
“The biggest thing is we have an opportunity here,” Peebies said.
“So we are really excited about that.”
The new Peanuts factory will be the first of its kind in Peollos history.
Preece said he expects the factory will have a large role in the future of the peanut brand.
“I’m hoping to have a significant impact on Peanut products in the coming years,” he said.
Pheeples said the company has no plans to shift production to Peoria.
“There’s been a lot going on over the last couple of years, and that’s just the way it goes,” he told Reuters.
“But I am really excited to be part of this project, and it will be great to get to see Peoria and Austin together again.”
Peepps said that the Peanuts Peanut Factory is expected be finished in 2019.
“It’s going to be really fun,” he added.
“A lot of people are excited about it.”
Preeces Peanuts chain started with his family and a handful of brothers, including his father, George Peanut, and grandfather, John Peanut.
Peesons first two years were successful.
But in 2014, the company was acquired by a conglomerate of companies that owned the factory.
Peanuts ceased operations in February 2017, and Peeps’ brother George took over the company, Peepys Peanuts.
“George and I are a good fit for this project,” Preeps said.
The brothers were able to sell the Peanut Co., which they founded in 1971, to a company called Kite Brands.
Kite sold the company to a group of investors led by Paul Walker, a Dallas investor who is now CEO of Target Corp. Walker has said that Target would sell the peanut company to Peanuts after all the investors had sold out of the company.
Walker said in an interview that the deal was for $3.2 billion, with Target taking ownership of Peanuts, which has an operating profit margin of more than 60 percent.
Walker declined to disclose the price the two companies are looking to strike.
“At this point, we’re just working through the details,” Walker said.
Walker added that Peanuts was not the only company interested in buying Peanuts from its owners.
“Our interest in the peanut business was not exclusive to Peanut,” Walker told Reuters in an email.
Walker and his brother were also involved in a failed bid for the Peaches PeePies chain, which lasted about a year and a half before the company folded in 2018.
Preesons Peanuts also had some trouble with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has said the Peinsys brand is not subject to the health and safety requirements of the Food & Drug Administration.
“Although the FDA did not find any safety or efficacy issues with Peanuts products, the FDA has not deemed the peanut products to be hazardous products,” the FDA said in a statement.
The FDA did state that Peanut’s products may contain “substantial amounts” of peanut oil and “potentially contain peanut products with ingredients that are not food grade.”
The FDA also noted that Peinsies products are not exempt from some food safety standards.
Walker told CNBC earlier this year that he expects Peanuts to be a “big deal” for Target and the new company.
The company also announced a partnership with The Popcorns, a local chain that is based just outside Peoria that also has a peanut butter factory.
Walker also told CNBC that the new Peanut factory will not only make peanuts, but also chocolate, peanut butter, ice cream, candies and other snacks for Peanuts customers.