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Female Founder of Gourmet Peanuts Receives American Peanut Council Award


SEDLEY, Va: According to the American Peanut Council, Dorothy Dot Hubbard was a trailblazer in terms of popularizing a peanut product, but she was also a female entrepreneur in a time when that was rare.

Hubbard was honored posthumously at the 2019 USA Peanut Congress with the APC's Lifetime Achievement Award. Mrs. Hubbard, who founded Hubbard Peanut Company in Sedley, Virginia, perfected her unique family recipe and pioneered a technique for cooking Virginia peanuts that has become the industry standard for the gourmet Virginia-type peanut we know today according to Sid Levy, chairperson of the APC, in presenting the award.

In his remarks, Levy recognized that the Hubs home cooked brand introduced by Hubbard 65 years ago culminated in the creation of a market category of gift quality peanuts often referred to as 'gourmet'. Her specification for the largest peanut from the crop has become the highly sought after 'unofficial' USDA grading standard of Extra Extra (super) Large.

Dell Cotton, Executive Secretary, of the Virginia Peanut Growers nominated Hubbard for the award. Dorothy Hubbard was the first to make this type of peanut product accessible to anyone who wanted a Virginia peanut. Not only did her company grow, but it also led to the development of multiple gourmet processors in the Virginia/Carolina area that make up an integral part of our Virginia peanut industry. We can credit the foresight of the Hubbards for being the catalyst for and a large part of this industry for which our V/C farmers are so proud.

In accepting the award, Hubbard's daughter, Lynne Rabil said, She began by literally hand skinning peanuts in her tiny kitchen and as her business grew, she outsourced that step to other women around the community. From there she grew into having truckloads of raw blanched peanuts delivered to Sedley.

According to Rabil, her mother had a vision of sharing high quality...very high quality.... peanuts that could be packaged and given as a gift. As word spread, she had to figure out the best way to ship these gifts. This was a time before zip codes, FedEx, credit cards, or computers.

Rabil reminisced, There were magazine and newspaper articles from famous food editors/customers in San Francisco, Chicago, and NY including MFK Fisher and Craig Claiborne. We have letters from Presidents of the US and governors, including one from the 1973 Southern Governor's Conference in Alabama where the wife of Georgia Governor Carter wanted to know the cooking secret for those peanuts they had received from our Virginia Governor. There is also story from the White House that President George H W Bush gave Hubs to the Prime Minister of Japan as a gift at the close of a major trade deal.

After 65 years, Hubbard Peanut Company, Inc. remains in Sedley, Virginia where the original home has expanded into offices and production facilities. It continues to be owned and managed by the Hubbard's children and grandchildren.

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Female Founder of Gourmet Peanuts Receives American Peanut Council Award

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