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Friday, August 22, 2008

ROCKY PEANUT COMPANY

In the cutthroat business of upscale food products, Rocky Peanut Company certainly has the variety and quality of products to give any store in Eastern Market a run for its money. Rocky Peanut Company prides itself on the quality of its products and its commitment to providing the freshest, tastiest, and many times healthiest food products available. These products include, bulk candy, meats, cheeses, bulk coffee, spices, and of course, raw nuts and dried fruits. Additionally, Rocky Peanut Co. also has a coffee bar where patrons can sit down and relax after a long day at the market.

According to their website, "Rocky Peanut Company buys raw nuts and dried fruits right at harvest, directly from growers and processors all over the world to assure that all we roast and process is the freshest and best quality. In our oil roasting process, we use Canola oil, which is lower in saturated fat then Cotton Seed or Peanut oil-the oils that most roasters typically use."

Yet, as much as the glorious selection of nuts, coffee, spices, cheeses, deli sandwiches, and bulk candy, satisfies my urge to purchase high quality food products, I still can't get over the fact that R. Hirt Jr. company just looks so much more like the real deal. I also realize that R. Hirt Jr. really holds itself out as more of a general store, where the uppity..um..general store snob would want to shop, while Rocky Peanut Company prides itself on being a store where the uppity food snob would want to shop. And, while in many cases each store carries very different types of products, they do sell some similar items, mostly in the vein of meat and cheese.

Until I'm proved differently, which I'm open to, if I'm going to spend an absurd amount of cash on cheese or meat, I'm going to R. Hirt Jr.. Hirt is, what I like to call, the "OG" or "Original Gangster" store in Eastern Market, which garners the utmost respect from all the newer stores on the block and whose reputation precedes it. Rocky Peanut is that newcomer on the scene who decided to go bold and take the old guy head on.

In actuality though, Rocky Peanut Company is really not that new at all. The company traces its roots all the way back to 1969 when Rocky (Rocco) Russo purchases a small peanut roasting business and began selling bagged peanuts to Tiger Stadium in Detroit, along with local street vendors. By 1971, Rocky had expanded his nut operations to the point where he needed a new location. The new store was opened in Eastern Market on the corner of Russell and the Fisher Freeway Service Drive.

Within the next 10 years Rocky had moved his operations again and relocated down the street from the previous location, although still within Eastern Market. In 1993, Rocky Peanut Company created a wholesale distribution business with its distribution center located in Ferndale and run by Rocky's son, Joseph Russo.

In all, Rocky Peanut Company has has all the upscale food products that you could want or need and they provide those products with a great presentation, a health conscious approach and respect for their patrons. Maybe then I'm being unreasonable by proclaiming that somehow the vibe at Rocky Peanut Co. takes away from its products. Maybe it doesn't make sense to downgrade the unbelievable array of high quality items due to the ambiance inside the store. Or maybe I'm just right. Still, you'll be hard pressed to find a better high end food market in Metro Detroit.

Below are photographs from Rocky Peanut Co. along with a link to the entire Flickr set.

Complete Rocky Peanut Co. Flickr Set





Rocky Peanut Company
2489 Russell, Detroit, MI, 48207
(800) 437-6825
Rocky Peanut

Detroit Army

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually buddy your information is incorrect...Rocco Russo actually started Rocky Produce Company first...which is now located in the Detroit Produce terminal ...it is the biggest produce company in the midwest.....that was started in 1957....so get your stories straight....before you start talking about italians that settled in Detroit

Former Employee said...

Rocky Produce is no where near the largest produce company in the midwest, let alone the Detroit Produce terminal. So get your facts right Anonymous. For the products carried at the Rocky's retail store, you can get better else where and probably closer to where you live. The wholesale operation sells better products to high-end stores in metro Detroit than Rocky's retail store sells. Also, stay away from anything on sale at the retail store. I can tell you it is VERY old product 9 times out of 10.