Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts is holding a birthday part of sorts Wednesday for a Providence peanut company that’s celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The Virginia and Spanish Peanut Company was founded 100 years ago this summer by Peter Kaloostian, an Armenian immigrant. The company roasts, packages and distributes peanuts, nuts and dried fruit to a wide variety of bakeries, confectioners and supermarkets throughout New England.
It’s run by three great granddaughters now, including Shelley Kaloostian-Conti. “Somebody told him to either go into the nut business or the car business. So he chose the nut business and we’ve been going ever since,” said Kaloostian-Conti.
The company occupies a large, nondescript building on Dexter Street in southern part of Providence. Walk by and you smell the aroma of the nuts roasting inside.
Despite a series of surveys that show Rhode Island is unfriendly to businesses, Kaloostian-Conti said they’re here to stay.
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