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For Al Jarvis, the aroma of fresh-roasted peanuts is the result of a successful blend of a hobby and a business. Jarvis and his family operate a roasted peanut stand at events in Texas. The antique flywheel engines and coffee bean roasters set his stand apart.
  The flywheel engine collector explains that he had been looking for a creative way to use his engines when he came across an A.J. Deer Royal no. 5 coffee bean roaster.
  "When I completed the restoration of the roaster, I knew I had found a unique way to demonstrate both the engine and the roaster," Jarvis says. "I would roast peanuts by belting the roaster to the engine."
  That was 18 years ago and the Jarvises have been hauling their 16-ft. peanut trailer to events ever since. The peanuts are roasted by propane.
  "If I'm in a location where the popping engine would be a nuisance to those around me, or in an enclosed area where exhaust fumes could accumulate, I can run the roasters with electricity," Jarvis explains. "I always run the engine when possible for the attention and attraction it brings to my set-up. I am known as ŠThe Peanut Man' with the popping engine."
  Jarvis buys the peanuts in bulk and roasts them on site for a variety of functions at churches, schools, company parties, grand openings, festivals, fundraisers and flea markets. The Jarvises attend the Six Flags Over Texas Heritage Festival and are regulars at the Canton, Texas, First Monday Flea Market - one of the largest in the U.S.
  For anyone interested in duplicating the business in another location, Jarvis has three restored pre-1929 coffee bean roasters for sale ($8,000 each) as well as flywheel engines available for sale.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Al Jarvis, 215 Loop Lane, Lufkin, Texas 75904 (ph 936 634-7610; cell 936 676-7414).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4