Our Story

Jim Picard Sr. is a Canadian original. He's the one and only pioneer of peanut farming in Canada. And when Jim Picard Sr. launched Picard Peanuts Ltd. with his son, Jim Jr. at his side, it began a family-oriented business dedicated to producing top-quality, Ontario-grown peanuts that go straight from the Picard family farm to your family's snack bowl. From that humble beginning in 1979, the Picard family grew and so did the family business.

After pioneering revolutionary peanut farming techniques, including a zero-waste peanut crop, and developing a wide range of delicious peanut snacks and products, Jim Sr. kept it all in the family and handed the reins of the business to his son Jim Jr..

Today, in addition to homegrown peanuts,
you can enjoy farm-fresh peanut brittles, mouth-watering chocolate creations and lots of other tasty snacks,
all made by the Picard family.

 

 

 

Along with Jim Sr.'s world-famous Chip Nuts and Cookie Nuts, you'll find all the delicious Picard family snacks in the family-run stores across Southern Ontario in Windham, Morriston, Fonthill, Woodstock and Arva.

If you stop by our Windham store, there's one more highlight that you won't find anywhere else. Jim Picard Sr., the man who started it all, still works around the store and on the farm out back. He'd be happy to tell you the whole Picard story and how the first peanuts ever grown in Canada took root on his farm over 35 years ago.

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.

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

 

 

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