Telling the story of Planters Peanuts

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

We recently kicked off a big project at the News-Herald n one on which we will need your help.

As everyone’s well aware, 2006 is the 100th anniversary of Planters Peanuts, formerly Planters Nut and Chocolate Company (Why don’t companies have names like that anymore? Now everything is one-word, often made-up, like “Google,” or “Microsoft.” It’s probably reflective of our society in general. Those old names had character. Character doesn’t seem to mean a whole lot to anyone anymore.)

Anyway, the News-Herald will publish a special edition in August on the anniversary. While it will have the typical stories on Planters’ history and Amedeo Obici’s Suffolk connection, we want to make this edition special.


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That’s where you come in.

We want to tell the Planters story through the eyes of the people who built it and who depended on Planters for their livelihood. We want to hear the stories of those families in which husband and wife both worked at Planters; of those who worked at Planters for many, many years, anyone who has personal memories of Mr. Obici, etc.

That’s the real story of a company n not the institution but its impact on people, the lives it touched and the part it played in the development of Suffolk.

But that’s not all. If you have old photos of Planters or Obici, or Planters workers, or you have an interesting collection of Planters memorabilia, we’d like to know about that, too.

You may have noticed some ads in the paper soliciting this type of material. You don’t have to be a writer. Just jot down your thoughts and memories (or type them on the computer) and send them to managing editor Douglas Grant. at P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, Va., 23439, or e-mail at

Planters, while not what it once was in Suffolk, has had a major impact on the development of our community, and we need your help to tell the story.

As an extra incentive, everyone who contributes a piece to this edition will have their name entered in a drawing for a basket of Planters goodies.

The deadline for providing information is Friday, July 7, so start writing.

Andy Prutsok is publisher of the News-Herald. Reach him at, or 934-9611.