We huffed, puffed and pedaled for peanuts last weekend at CB’s Nuts in Kingston, Washington. In fact we pedaled so hard, for a moment, I thought I saw smoke bellowing out of the bike’s rear tire. Had that been the case, we were in the right place because CB’s Nuts is housed in an old fire station. But wait–that smell–it wasn’t smoke at after all. It was peanut butter!
CB’s Nuts started in a Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come” sort of way, except Clark Bowen (the C.B. of CB’s Nuts) got his brilliant idea at a baseball game–he didn’t build a baseball field. Armed with a bag of fresh roasted peanuts he bought from a vendor on the way into a Mariners-Orioles baseball game in Baltimore, Clark realized how much the smell and flavor of peanuts said “baseball” to him, and how there was nothing like this in his hometown of Seattle. It wasn’t long before he pushing a small roaster near Safeco Field and selling warm peanuts with the goal of making enough to pay for tickets to the game and beer.
Time passed and Clark, now married to Tami, became increasingly interested in “old fashioned” roasting equipment and techniques. In fact making peanut butter with the nuts they roasted only started when they received a large shipment of peanuts that arrived sans shells, sort of a When life gives you peanuts, make peanut butter moment. CB’s Peanut Butter puts the A-1 into artisanal because there is only one ingredient in their peanut butter–peanuts. Yep, that’s it. Just really delicious, expertly roasted and ground peanuts.
Oh, and back to those pedal-powered peanuts. As it turned out, someone had hooked up the grinder backwards–no wonder we were making smoke and not peanut butter! But that didn’t stop us from picking up a jar to take home and tasting samples of fresh peanuts. CB’s Nuts, by the way, isn’t just about peanuts and peanut butter. You can find pumpkin seeds, pistachios, cashews and hazelnuts. So…you know, GO NUTS!
CB’s Nuts are sold at PCC Natural Markets, Whole Foods and a number of other retailers. But if you want to pedal for peanuts, head over to their retail store in Kingston at 6013 NE State Highway 104, just west of Kingston Ferry. A fun place to visit for kids–and adults–who like peanut butter. Although the main roasting operation is no longer at the fire station, a few batches of peanut butter are still made there using a 100-year-old roaster Clark restored (an Adam’s Peanut Butter’s original roaster from Tacoma in the 1920’s).
If you don’t feel quite ready to brave the Edmonds-Kingston ferry lines, you can sit a spell…on a section of the original Seattle Mariners dugout from the Kingdome days! Plus you can sit on it with a local microbrew from the cooler or an ice cream in your hands. And a bowl of peanuts, of course. If, after that, you’re feeling a bit more like a slug than a slugger, there’s always that bicycle. Just remember, you might want to work out at the gym for a few weeks first!
It’s all about the journey,