Feridies, The Peanut Patch sold

Published 2:30 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

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The Gerard Group Inc., which is a collection of Virginia-based business owners/operators, purchased Feridies and its retail shop, The Peanut Patch Gift Shoppe, in December.

Andrew Whisler, with The Gerard Group, stated that even with the sale, Feridies and The Peanut Patch are still locally owned and operated, and the prior owners are still on board and part of the day-to-day operations.

“It is literally business as usual,” he said. “We closed the deal, and the next day, life goes on exactly as it has been. They’ve got a great business that’s been built. We’re not looking to disrupt that in any way.”

The Peanut Patch and Feridies have been hallmarks of Southampton County since the shop first opened its doors in 1973.

The Gerard Group, which is a private business, purchased the Virginia Diner a couple years ago, and like that business, Feridies and The Peanut Patch have now become a wing of The Gerard Group.

“It’ll be The Gerard Group trading as Feridies/Peanut Patch the same way that Virginia Diner is Gerard Group trading as the Virginia Diner,” Whisler said.

Whisler is the president and chief operating officer of Virginia Diner Inc.

During a Monday, Jan. 3, interview, he noted that the purchase of Feridies/The Peanut Patch happened about two weeks prior, and what helped lead to the deal was a good preexisting relationship between the business’ longstanding owners, the Riddick family, and The Gerard Group.

“Our group, we’ve been in the peanut and snack manufacturing space for decades, and we’ve known the family for years and years,” Whisler said, noting the group had even previously been a supplier to Feridies/The Peanut Patch for years and had always enjoyed a good relationship with the Riddicks.

“Obviously, they’ve established and built the business over the last 47 years, and (the recent sale) was a good opportunity for them to reap the rewards of all their hard work and efforts in building up that company,” Whisler said. “It was a good fit for us in our business model, being in the snack manufacturing space, and we like their business, like their brand and feel there’s opportunity not just to maintain the great reputation and brand that they’ve built but also hopefully build and grow on that reputation as well in the months and years ahead.”

Though it is business as usual for Feridies and The Peanut Patch, one familiar face has left the day-to-day operations — Judy Riddick.

When asked about the sale, she directed The Tidewater News to Whisler for comment.

“She fully retired as of the end of the year and (is) looking forward to traveling and relaxing and enjoying life on the retired side,” Whisler said.

He noted that the majority of the other family members are remaining on board to lend their knowledge and expertise, alongside that of the new owners, to aid in the maintenance and growth of the business that will hopefully lead to more jobs.