Hubbard Peanut Co. receives top honor

Published 10:59 am Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hubbard Peanut Co. in Sedley has received a Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award. SUBMITTED

CHARLOTTESVILLE—A Sedley company was one of five winners in a statewide competition that highlights the most resilient businesses in economically challenged parts of Virginia.

Hubbard Peanut Co. received a Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

This is the second year in a row for a Western Tidewater company to receive the award. Highground Services in Franklin was among 88 businesses to apply in 2011, when five where chosen. The award is given to companies who display growth, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to community facing high unemployment and poverty, and low entrepreneurial activity.

Hubbard Peanut Co., one of 11 finalists among 59 who entered this year’s competition, will have personnel enrolled in an Executive Education course at Darden valued at $8,000 to $12,000.

“These winners represent resilience in the classic sense of the word,” said Professor Greg Fairchild, E. Thayer Bigelow Research Chair. “In the face of some daunting challenges, they have bent but not broken, adapted, and become stronger for their efforts.”

During its nearly 60 years in business, Hubbard Peanuts has endured a fire that destroyed a key part of its facility, the closure the International Paper mill and challenges beyond its control within the peanut industry.

Dot and H.J. Hubbard started the company in 1954 using a unique peanut cooking process, and their daughter, President Lynne Rabil, continues to manage it with their founding values and the welfare of the community in mind.

The company support local schools and its owners and managers lead civic organizations and helped form a JROTC program at Franklin High School.

The company also gives back through “Helping through Hubs,” a program that returns a percentage of sales to non-profits that buy its product.