REMEMBERING THE PEANUT MAN: Lexington County couple run locally famous boiled peanut stand

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WOLO) — Boiled peanuts originated in the South and have long been popular here in South Carolina. 

For over a decade, those in the Midlands have been enjoying Hood’s Peanuts.

“Peanuts and salt. The Cajuns have a little something.  I can’t tell you about that. He started out with a pot,” said Gaston resident Melissa Hood, recalling how her husband started the business.

She refers to a pot that Robin Hood, known as the Peanut Man, got from a recycling center.

“It didn’t even have a top on it. He could only cook 25 pounds at a time. Now, we have 4 trailers running. So, he’s something else,” Melissa said. “When he puts his heart and soul into something, he does it all the way. He researched everything he could find. He has the best peanuts in town.”

It took the Hoods a little while to get the hang of it.

Luckily for Robin, his wife Melissa helped him along the way.

“Oh yeah, from day one. We carried pots until we got things more organized,” she recalls. “We learned to not overwork ourselves is how he put it.”

Now that demand has gone up for Hood’s Peanuts, it can mean some busy days.

“Oh it’s a lot of hard work. A lot of hard work. There’s a pot over there that’s tall and you can cook 100 pounds at a time,” Melissa said. “On weekends, you have to cook every day. You cook 100 pounds a day.”

The Hoods enjoyed boiling peanuts together almost as much as people loved eating them.

However, earlier this month, Robin passed away after testing positive for COVID-19.

“When I left him, he was just fine. Next thing I know, he was on a ventilator,” Melissa said. “He came off for a brief time. His lungs were just really bad.”

Robin may be gone but certainly not forgotten. Melissa plans to continue to boil the peanuts that people in the Midlands drive miles away for.

“I’m so proud of him. I couldn’t be prouder of him,” she said. “I’m broken hearted but I love him.”

Robin, a Columbia native, was 55. In addition to boiling peanuts, he was also an avid fisherman.

Categories: Lexington