Columbia, SC (WLTX) - In 2008, one Midlands man had just started selling boiled peanuts on the side of his regular job as way to make some extra cash. But within just a few months, both he and his wife lost their jobs and those peanuts became all that was keeping them afloat.
Today, the couple has two stores in Columbia - selling homemade candy, popcorn and, of course, peanuts.
"A lot of hard work, just perseverance, continuing to go forward and go forward no matter what," explains Chris Hinely of he and his wife's attitude. It's been a mantra of sorts for Chris and Carrie for the past four years. Says Carrie, "I got almost 3,000 pounds just one truck today in. So, I have to go through it, move it all, check it in, divvy it up, load it into the truck, bring it here and then load it back into the store, then we got to unpack it and load it into the shelves."
But they do make and sell candy, popcorn and peanuts for a living; so, of course, there's a lot of fun in it too. Says Carrie, "I had a lady come in and her daughter was running for prom queen or something and was like, 'I need to get some candy, she wants to give them out.' and I was like, 'What about just a lollipop and write on there don't be a dum dum, vote for whatever?' she was like, 'I love it!' and we made little tags and stuff. So, just stuff like that."
It's been a little combination of both - the hard work and the fun - hat's gotten them to their second store here in Columbia, from meager beginnings. "It started with him just doing some fun on the side of the road, selling boiled peanuts. And then, I lost my job and within three months, he lost his job," remembers Carrie. Adds Chris, "I mean, we were thrown out of places. People told us, 'Don't sell peanuts here.' or 'You can't be here.' And then we had a lot of help along the way. We had a lot of people that talked to us about business and here's what you can do."
With a permanent place to sell now, they're looking toward the future - with just a small disagreement on it. "I want this one completely done before we even think about doing anything else. He wants to open up in Greenville. So, he might be on this own there!" laughs Carrie.
The Peanut Man's new location is on Lincoln Street in downtown Columbia. You can still visit their original spot too, it's in The Village at Sandhill.