FORT LORAMIE — Peanut lovers got a chance to get up close and personal with three Planters Peanutters when the crew parked their NUTmobile at Casey’s General Store on Thursday, June 21, as part of their “east to west nut-crackin’ fest.”
Conner Palmore, aka “Peconner,” Bradley Smith, or “Peanut Brittle Brad,” and Kelly Beach, known as “Peanut Butter and Kelly,” are on the road for a year, visiting 27 states, to give peanut fans “a chance to meet Mr. Peanut, snap a ‘shell-fie’ and eat some free samples.”
According to Beach, Fort Loramie is the second stop on the crew’s itinerary, the first being Madison, Wisconsin. The Peanutters spent two weeks in Madison for training before hitting the road.
The trio is driving one of three NUTmobiles, all of which are traveling to different spots around the country. They call their’s “Rochelle,” and it’s the oldest of the three, having been built in 2011, Beach said.
“Rochelle” is a truly unique vehicle, running on peanut oil biodiesel and utilizing a wind turbine and solar panels. The ridges on the exterior, which create its signature peanut look, are created by re-purposed pool noodles. Inside, the floor of the NUTmobile is made of wood that was recovered from an old barn in Pennsylvania, which was built in 1849.
Beach, Palmore, and Smith are recent college grads who were chosen from a pool of about 1,500 applicants to become full-time spokespeople for Planters for the next year.
Beach, originally from Grass Valley, California, graduated from the University of Missouri; Palmore, of Texarkana, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin; and Smith, of Wayne, Illinois, is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
“It’s my first time in Ohio,” said Beach, who applied for the Peanutter position when she was a sophomore in college.
“It’s a ‘shell-of-a’ good time,” Smith said.
Gary Joe Ahrns, of Fort Loramie, stopped to see the NUTmobile after noticing it as he was passing by.
“I was driving over to my daughter’s and saw it, and was like, ‘Wow, look at that!’ So, I came and got some peanuts,” he said.
Several other people stopped by to play a peanut coin toss game for a chance to win some free samples.
Unfortunately, due to the rain, Mr. Peanut was unable to make his appearance, Beach said.
The Peanutters crew will head to Columbus next, followed by Chicago, Illinois, and South Bend, Indiana.
“After that,” Smith said, “We’ll see where the trail mix takes us.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.