Goobers is a fun side business

By Vicki Hyatt | Aug 27, 2014
Photo by: Vicki Hyatt David Walker and Steven Rich are shown with their festival trailer mascot, "Goober." The statue was carved by a local chainsaw artist and is the perfect prop to let customers readily know what's being sold.

Haywood residents Steven Rich and David Walker are too young to retire just yet, but wanted to have something ready to go when that time came.

That’s why the teamed up to start Goobers, a festival vendor business that offers both boiled peanuts and cotton candy.

Both have enjoyed taking in the various festivals that are plentiful in the region, and decided it might be fun to try to make a little money while they are at it.

Boiled peanuts, a deep southern tradition, were something they hadn’t seen at a lot of the places they traveled, so Goobers was formed.

The small trailer they set up at festivals has space for a 75-gallon cooker where the peanuts are kept.

“It takes 12 hours to get them properly cooked,” said Walker. “Once they are there, you can hold them at a constant temperature for between 24 and 36 hours. There’s a knack to it, because you can overcook them.”

Rich concedes the fare isn’t for everyone.

“You either like them or you don’t like them,” he said. “There is no in-between.”

Peanuts are available in two sizes, a $3 and a $5 container. The cotton candy cups are $2 each or 3 for $5.

Rich and Walker are several years out in retiring from their day jobs. Walker is a local distributor for Snyder’s and Lance and Rich is in real estate. But when the time comes to slow down a bit, they have a small business ready to grow.

“We’re having a lot of fun doing this,” said Rich.

Goobers can be found at several upcoming festivals, including the Maggie Valley Arts and Crafts show scheduled for this weekend and the Maggie Valley Oktoberfest.