Global Spices at the Eastern Market

Photo credit: Katherine Montalto

Rocky Peanut Company has been family owned and operated since it began as a small produce company in 1931. By 1957, the company had expanded from one truck selling produce door-to-door into a major wholesale produce distribution company. In the late 1960s, the company began selling bagged peanuts to Detroit’s Tiger Stadium and local street vendors and by the 1970s, opened a store front in Detroit’s Eastern Market.

The charm of Rocky’s Peanut Company begins at the storefront across from Shed 2 on the corner of Winder and Russell with a handpainted sign above the front door that reads, “Nuts to your taste that win first place,” flanked by two circus elephants. Once inside, you are greeted by the amazing aroma of fresh spices and roasted nuts.

Rocky’s is laid out like an old general store with products displayed stacked on eye-level shelves and in baskets labeled with handpainted signs.  Customers follow a well-laid path from the deli counter and cheese case at the front of the store to the amazing variety of bulk spices, where the selection ranges from staples like whole peppercorns to more elusive spices like juniper berries and whole cardamom. Baking staples such as flour and pearled barley can be found stacked neatly around the spice area.

The store path turns past the bulk coffee on the right, bulk nuts on the left, and shelf after shelf of gourmet products down the middle. After you’ve loaded your basket here, it’s on to the bulk candy section where children and adults alike can be found stuffing bags full of brightly colored candy confections.

Rocky’s Peanut Company is busiest on Saturdays during the farmers market, but many people forget that the store at 2489 Russell is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What’s your favorite place to pick up bulk items?

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