Our Story

The Picard Family introduced peanuts to the sandy soils of Southwestern Ontario’s Norfolk County in 1979. As with most farming businesses, early production has its ups and downs, particularly after an early frost in 1982 nearly devastated the fledgling industry.

In the years following the frost, the determination and hard work of the Picard family began to bear fruit. The family expanded its peanut business and began to focus on creating delicious value-added food products. From the early days of peanut clusters, peanut brittle and beernuts, the family grew the product line during the 80’s and early 90’s to over 150 products focused on peanuts and confectionery products. With this unique and flavourful expanded product line, the Picard family set up retail locations across Southwestern Ontario. The now famous blue barns became the focal point of unique peanut and snack products, direct from the manufacturing facilities of the Picard family.


 

 

 

In 2012, the Picard family split the business into two separate and unique companies. Picard Foods, operated by John Picard and his family, sell its products at retail outlets in St. Jacobs, Talbotville, Waterdown, Niagara-on-the-lake, Waterford and Vaughan (2020). Picard Peanuts, operated by Jim Picard Jr. and his family, sells its products at retail outlets in Windham Centre, Fonthill, Morriston, Arva, Woodstock and Fort Erie. Although Picard Foods and Picard Peanuts are now healthy competitors, they are both committed to serving the best quality confections and freshly roasted peanuts in their own unique ways.

All the best, the Picard family.

Photos
 
Timeline

1978
A Great Idea - Wanting to switch from growing tobacco and other cash crops on his Simcoe, ON, farm, James Picard Sr. comes across a small, prosperous peanut store on a rural road in the Peanut Capital of the World: Georgia, USA. It gives him a great idea for a new crop, and a whole new business.

1979
It's National News – Working closely with the University of Guelph's Delhi Research Farm, Jim Sr. helps pioneer peanut farming in Canada when he plants a small section of his farm. The results are so good and so well received, Jim and a group that includes his son, Jim Jr., open Picard Peanuts Ltd., Canada's first homegrown commercial peanut farm. The news is broadcast all across Canada.

1980
Business Booms – The first Picard Peanuts Store opens on Highway 24, north of Simcoe (30 years later, it's still a landmark for peanut lovers near and far). To keep the store well-stocked with fresh peanuts, Picard opens Canada's first commercial peanut shelling plant.

Store

1982
Out of Adversity Comes … New Flavours – Ground frost in August?! It happened in 1982 and severely damaged the fledgling company's peanut crop. Instead of licking their wounds, Picard fights back by expanding their facilities and developing new peanut flavours, seasonings and products, including Jumbo Cocktail Peanuts, Barbecue Peanuts and Extra Fancy Virginia Redskins. "If it has a peanut in it, there's nothing we can't make and make it of the best quality" Jim Sr.

1983
They Want More – With customers clamouring for the new products, Picard expands its product line with confectionary items like Peanut Brittle, Beer Nuts and Carmel Corn.

1990
Niagara Falls Here We Come – The village of Fonthill, just outside Niagara Falls, is the site of Picard's second retail outlet.

1991–1993
The Incredible Chip Nut Story - Another visit to Georgia gives Jim Sr. the idea for combining two all-time great snack foods - potato chips and peanuts - into what would become a Picard's original favourite: The world famous Chip Nut. Turning a good idea into a good product isn't always easy, or fast – especially when you're a stickler for quality. After an incredible 500 test batches, and two years of tweaking the formula to perfection, Chip Nuts make their debut. They are an instant hit and a Picard's bestseller ever since.

 

1991–1993
The Incredible Chip Nut Story - Another visit to Georgia gives Jim Sr. the idea for combining two all-time great snack foods - potato chips and peanuts - into what would become a Picard's original favourite: The world famous Chip Nut. Turning a good idea into a good product isn't always easy, or fast – especially when you're a stickler for quality. After an incredible 500 test batches, and two years of tweaking the formula to perfection, Chip Nuts make their debut. They are an instant hit and a Picard's bestseller ever since.

1995
Ever heard of Cookie Nuts? No one had in 1995, but Picard's begins working on a formula for cookie covered peanuts.

2005-2008
A Growing Family – Two new stores join the Picard's family. In 2005, in addition to being home to the 175 year-old Duff's Presbyterian Church, the Village of Morriston welcomes Picard Peanuts. And in 2008, Picard's fourth store opens in Woodstock.

2012
The Cookie Nuts Are Ready! – Yes, you counted right, that's 17 years between when Picard's started perfecting Cookie Nuts and when they felt the product was ready for their customers. It was worth the wait - Cookie Nuts quickly becomes another Picard's original favourite. 2013 From Father to Son – James D. Picard, (Jim Jr.), takes over Picard Peanuts from his Dad. Father and son continue to work together in the business they started over 30 years ago.

Plant

2013
Jump into The Candy Jar – Every Picard's location opens a section called The Candy Jar. It's full of the retro-candy that made your childhood sweeter. If you're looking for Dubble Bubble, Pink Elephant Candy Coated Popcorn, Jaw Breakers and so many more favourites from back in the day, check out The Candy Jar.

2015
Another Location - Picard opens a new store in Arva, (north of London) Ontario. It is a success over night!

2018
Newest Location - Picard opens a new store in Fort Erie, Ontario that has been well received by everyone.

Fort Erie

 

 

HOME
PRODUCTS
OUR STORY
LOCATIONS
CONTACT US

 

© 2016 Picard Peanuts Ltd.
All rights reserved
Terms & Conditions